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Over 68% of business leaders sense that security risks are increasing, and therefore if you run a business in 2020, you must protect it with an SSL certificate. After all, the internet is infested with cybercriminals trying to break into websites to steal everything from credit card numbers to usernames and passwords.
These stolen credentials put the customer’s personal data at risk and expose the business owner to potential litigation. Much of this can be avoided by installing an SSL certificate on the webserver. Therefore, in this article, we’ll tell you all about choosing the right SSL certificate for your website and the benefits that follow.
What do you mean by an SSL Certificate?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates are digital certificates issued by a reliable third-party known as the certifying authority (CA). Based on the type of validation you apply for, the CA runs a quick verification and then provides the keys.
You need to install that on your web server, which keeps the data exchanged between the server and the client encrypted. It works by using the public-private key cryptography, ensuring that only the intended recipient deciphers the encrypted data.
Why should you use an SSL Certificate?
Installing the right SSL certificate on your website ensures better security and higher credibility by displaying security cues like the green padlock in the URL bar. When a user navigates to your website, the user’s mind is at rest as there are no security warnings given out by the browser.
In addition to that, it ensures compliance with numerous laws and regulations like the GDPR, PCI DSS, etc. Even Google encourages its use and considers SSL certificates as a ranking signal. However, to take full advantage of an SSL certificate, you need to choose the one that’s most appropriate for your business. You may do so based on two factors — your business model and the level of validation you require.
Choice Based on your Business Model
A surefire way to pick the right SSL certificate for your business is by choosing one that aligns with your business model. Let us now discuss some of the most common online business models and analyze which SSL certificate would be the most appropriate fit.
Retail e-commerce website
If you run a retail e-commerce website, you probably use more than one domain extension, which means you need an advanced SSL certificate to secure all of those. In this case, you may choose a multi-domain EV SSL certificate, which makes managing your websites and its security much more comfortable. However, to get an EV SSL certificate, you need to fulfill specific prerequisites. It would help if you were a legitimate business currently operating from the physical address submitted to the CA. Also, the company must own the website or websites for which you wish to apply for the EV SSL Certificate.
Drop-shipping and Print-on-demand services
In the case of online businesses like drop-shipping or print-on-demand, you may not use multiple domain extensions but are still bound by the rules of PCI DSS and other regulations. Therefore, in such cases, you may want to invest in a Wildcard SSL certificate to ensure that all the subdomains of your website are secure.
The wildcard SSL certificate is one that can secure a domain and also its multiple subdomains. So, if you have a site called ‘www.YourECommerceSite.com,’ then the Wildcard SSL Certificate would secure that and even ‘login.YourECommerceSite.com,’ ‘payment.YourECommerceSite.com.’ Now, this is something you cannot do with the basic domain validated SSL certificate, which only secures the main domain.
If you plan to launch your blog, you should know that installing an SSL certificate on your website is one of the best technical SEO practices. If you are out there testing waters, you may as well get started with a domain validated SSL certificate that comes bundled as a freebie with most web hosting plans. However, suppose you plan to sell subscriptions or are serious about ranking higher. In that case, you need to get a more comprehensive SSL Certificate like the Wildcard SSL certificate or the EV SSL certificate.
Brick-and-mortar businesses that have a website solely to establish their online presence but do not involve the exchange of money or customer data can very well manage with just the domain validated SSL certificate. However, if your business aims to collect leads or offer products or services through the website, you need an advanced SSL certificate. As such websites make use of multiple subdomains, a wildcard SSL certificate would suffice.
Another way to choose an SSL certificate is to make your choice based on the level of validation you seek for your website. Let us now discuss what different types of validations mean.
Domain Validated SSL Certificate
Getting a domain validated SSL certificate is the easiest, and all it indicates is that the person or entity applying for the SSL certificate owns the domain. This is why it comes bundled as a freebie with many web hosting plans.