Here’s a no-nonsense guide to finding a perfect SSL certificate for your website
If you’re building/have an e-commerce store, then your website security should be at the top of your priority list. It’s not only important from a data protection viewpoint, but robust security also establishes customer trust and increases your brand reputation. On the flip side, if your website is having security issues, it could leave a stamp on your business that you might not be able to recover from. One of the first and the most crucial steps you need to take to enhance your e-commerce store’s security is to get an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate, also known as TLS certificate.
An SSL certificate is a central element in any website security, without which there cannot be “website security.” It’s used to facilitate secure communication between web servers and clients (web browsers). In simpler words, it secures all the data – including their credentials, credit card details, etc. — sent by your customers. This way, the integrity and privacy of their data are maintained. An SSL certificate is also mandatory, according to the PCI-DSS (payment card industry data security standards).
Fortunately, most e-commerce store owners understand the importance of an SSL certificate, but many of them don’t know how to get an SSL certificate. Well, if you’re one of them, you need not worry as in this article, we’re going to cover a step-by-step process that will help you get the perfect SSL certificate for your website. Let’s get started!
How do I Get an SSL/TLS Certificate?
The process of getting an SSL certificate is quite straightforward. All it takes is three steps, as listed below:
- Choose the Right Certificate Authority (CA)
- Choose the Right SSL Certificate
- Choose the Right SSL Certificate Provider/Seller
Let’s look at each of these steps in a bit more detail.
Choose the Right Certificate Authority (CA)
The first step of getting an SSL certificate for your e-commerce store is selecting the right SSL certificate authority. A certificate authority is a trusted and recognized entity that’s responsible for issuing SSL certificates and managing the entire SSL ecosystem. These authorities conduct a verification process only after which they issue an SSL certificate to you. This process is quite critical because a CA acts as an entity that – by issuing an SSL certificate – testifies of your business’ legitimacy.
Now, it’s not only the CAs that rely on you, but you also depend on your CA. That’s because your certificate, its encryption keys, algorithms, etc. are managed by them. Therefore, if anything goes wrong on their end, you might have to pay the price. That’s why selecting the right CA is a crucial step. Here are some considerations that’ll help you make the right choice:
The thing that you must know about a CA is its reputation. The better the reputation, the better a CA is likely to be. To understand the reputation of a CA, you can do research about their past to learn about any data leaks as well as check customer reviews and blogs ranking the best CAs.
Choose the Right SSL Certificate
The next step after you’ve chosen your CA is to select the SSL certificate that fits with your e-commerce business and its requirements. SSL certificates come in three different types of validation levels. These types are known as domain validation (DV) SSL certificates, organization validation (OV) SSL certificates, and extended validation (EV) SSL certificates. One thing to note here is that these certificates feature the same level of security, but the level of validation is different.
- DV SSL certificates are the most basic kind of SSL certificate. They verify your domain ownership. They’re of no use to e-commerce websites as they don’t validate your business and don’t include your business information in the certificate.
- OV SSL certificates are the middle ground of SSL certificates types. These certificates, as the name suggests, include your organization details in the certificate. However, a disadvantage when it comes to these certificates is that a user will have to click go inside certificate details to know which organization the website belongs to. Unfortunately, most users aren’t technically aware, and therefore, it becomes of no use. To issue an OV SSL certificate, you must undergo a vetting process conducted by a CA, which takes 1-3 days.
- EV SSL certificates, as you can guess by its name, are the most power-packed SSL certificates. To get this type of SSL certificate, you must undergo an extensive vetting process conducted by a CA. This process takes 1-5 days. If you’re looking to get an SSL certificate for your online store, then it doesn’t get any better than this.
Apart from selecting the right type of SSL certificate, you must also have a look at the security level and warranty coming with your certificate. As a rule of thumb, select an SSL certificate that has a 128-bit or higher symmetric encryption level.
Select the Right SSL Certificate Provider
Before you get confused, let us clarify that an SSL certificate authority (CA) may or may not be the certificate provider. Just like electronic gadgets, you can buy SSL certificates directly from the CA, or you can buy from their partner stores. In the case of SSL certificates, the partner stores prove to be a much better option since they provide SSL certificates at significantly lower prices compared to CAs.
But not all partner stores are the same. Like choosing an SSL certificate authority, you must also check for the reputation of an SSL provider. And an equally critical item that you must check for is the customer support provided by the SSL provider. SSL can be a tricky business, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. So make sure that they have all types of support (chat, mail, call, etc.) systems in place.
Want to Get an SSL Certificate? You Don’t Need to Go Anywhere.
We, at RapidSSLOnline.com, are premium partners of the most trusted certificate authorities in the world. This includes DigiCert, Symantec, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, and Thawte. Whether you’re launching a brand new e-commerce store or have a multi-billion dollar multi-national enterprise, we have SSL certificates for all. If you face any trouble before installation or post installation, our SSL experts are with you 24/7/365. Therefore, you can leave all the troubles to us and focus on the things that matter to you.
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