SSL is the abbreviation of Secure Sockets Layer, provided by Certificate Authorities with an amount of fee or without any fee. It was initially created by Netscape and has gone through almost 20-year development. Now it is a mature and standard security encryption technology for sensitive information both placed on servers and transferred between servers and web browsers.
Therefore, SSL certificate is applied by millions of websites these days, especially by e-commerce companies who always have credit card transaction. If one website is with SSL, visitors will trust it more,, and they will feel safer to unload the personal information or pay via credit card. Thus, web owners will naturally gain more profits.
SSL Certificate Types
Nowadays, web owners use SSL certificate for various purposes, like enhancing confidentiality or trust from visitors. So aimed at different purposes, different SSL Certificates with different features come out, such as EV SSL certificate, OV SSL certificate, DV SSL certificate, AV SSL certificate, IV SSL certificate, wildcard SSL certificate, etc. in below, we will briefly talk about the first three SSL types that are popular recently in the market.
- EV SSL Certificate – EV is extended validation. This kind of SSL certificate is available to single domain name. Moreover, it requires a strict identity authentication process by Certificate Authorities. And EV certificate has few differences with other SSL certificates but if your website has EV certificate, then browser will display a green address bar. Therefore, visitors will know they are visiting your site instead of some other websites similar to yours, especially phishing websites.
- OV SSL Certificate – OV is organization validation. Before issuing OV certificate, CAs will validate the actual owner of your website. Thus, OV SSL improves credibility of the website. So in general OV certificate is the option of corporations, organizations and governments.
- DV SSL Certificate – DV is domain validation. Applying a DV certificate costs less time than applying other SSL certificates. CAs just needs to find the website owner in a WHOIS and send an email to the owner. If that owner responds, then a DV certificate is issued by CAs.
How to Distinguish Websites with SSL Certificates
In general, to see whether a website has an SSL certificate, firstly you open the website and see whether there is a padlock icon or a green address bar in the web browser. Besides, if a website has secured with an SSL certificate, you will find the URL is “https://” instead of normal “http://”. After confirmation, you can visit this website safely.
How does SSL Certificate work?
To equip your website with an SSL, firstly, you need to create CSR data file on your server, which will generate two keys: private key and public key. And secondly you send the CSR with the public key to one Certificate Authority that you want to purchase an SSL. And then the authority will ask you to provide your domain name, firm’s name and firm location. One SSL certificate usually can secure one domain name. After validation, the authority will issue you an SSL certificate that then you can install on your web server to active it.
Then your SSL certificate starts to protect the connections between your website and server from attacking. And there are five steps that show an SSL how to protect it in detail.
- When visitors go to your web page with SSL, browser requests your server to identify itself.
- Your server sends back one copy of its SSL along with its public key to the browser.
- Browser makes a series of check on your SSL about its valid time, issued party, common name, etc. then if browser trust your SSL certificate, it will return a symmetric session key to your server
- Your server decrypts this session key via the private key and sends the browser with an encrypted page with the symmetric session key.
- Finally, browser also uses the symmetric key to decrypts the page and display information to visitors.