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Factors to Consider When Selecting an SSL Certificate

Web admins must install an SSL certificate that can secure the communication with the visitor's browser. But there are number to consider when selecting an SSL certificate.

Businesses are always on the lookout for new growth areas. As more users are visiting websites to seek answers to their problems and transact online, there have been increased footfalls. Companies are revamping their outreach strategy, with many of them relying on websites for quality leads. It requires them to take vast information about their customers.

Hackers are always after the customer information stored in the servers. Therefore, companies must deploy adequate safeguards to prevent such attacks. The average global cost of a data breach is around USD$3.86 billion.

One of the best ways to ensure data security is by installing an SSL certificate. It will provide authentication of the servers and protect the underlying data too by encrypting it. This article will show some of the ways you can choose a premium yet cheap SSL certificate for your website.

Choosing the validation level

Companies must install an SSL certificate to enthuse a sense of trust in website visitors’ minds. They have a look at the padlock on the address bar and understand that the website is secure. Let us discuss the various validation levels of these certificates.

The validation processes can differ based on the certificate chosen by the company. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you select a certificate that ensures adequate authentication by the Certificate Authority (CA) before issuing the certificate.

Domain Validation.

It is a basic certificate with minimal validation carried out. The CA will request you to confirm domain ownership. Once you can demonstrate it, you will be awarded the certificate. They are cheap and are issued within a few minutes. It is ideal for blog sites and those that are lightweight and do not store sensitive information.

Organization Validation.

The CA will validate your domain ownership and require you to submit various documents that show that your organization is legal. It also involves verification of the locality where the organization is located along with telephone verification. There could be a final verification call too. It could take up to a few days for a CA to provide this certificate.

They are ideal for search information sites, public sites that do not have sensitive transactions, or educational websites. The validated company details are provided on the certificate. Visitors can be assured they are visiting a safe website if they go through the certificate details.

Extended Validation.

It is the highest form of validation that the CA will undertake. The business must provide additional documentation about the details of the business. You must also prove that the company is registered legally as a business. It is an expensive option and can take anywhere between 1 – 5 days to be issued by the CA.

The CA validates the location and the operational existence of the company. The physical and legal existence is validated too. This type of certificate is used mainly by e-commerce companies. The businesses that handle sensitive information and accept payments, handle user login information must use this certificate.

Number of domains/ subdomains to be secured

As a business, you must install an SSL certificate based on your requirements. For example, it can depend on the number of digital assets you own. The number of domains or subdomains you must secure is also a deciding factor for selecting the ideal certificate for your business.

Single domain certificates.

If you have only one Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), you can choose this cheap SSL certificate. If you purchase the certificate for newexample.com, you can secure all the underlying web pages. It is ideal for small businesses that do not want to spend more due to budget constraints.

Wildcard certificates.

It can secure all the first-level subdomains under a particular domain name. So, for example, if you wish to secure domain.com, you can also secure the first-level sub-domains login.domain.com, mail.domain.com, blog.domain.com, careers.domain.com, etc.

 

It does not require the web admins to buy separate certificates for the sub-domains. As a result, there is considerable benefit in certificate management and resource allocation.

In addition, it saves time and ensures a cheaper alternative for bigger corporations with several sub-domains.

Multi-domain SSL certificates.

The industry behemoths may have multiple domains for each of their businesses. You may add or delete the domain names at any time in a multi-domain SSL certificate. The web admins can manage several domains using a single certificate. It allows you to select different hostnames too. For enterprise customers, it is the ideal option. The number of domains that can be supported can vary across CAs.

The warranty amounts

The renowned CAs offer a warranty amount that will act as a hedge if there is any mishap or SSL mis-issuance. It is necessary to point out that the certificates come with the latest encryption technologies, but it is essential to have the risks hedged. Therefore, it would be best if you chose the certificates that come with a modest warranty. You must also note that the higher warranties also come at a higher price.

The Certificate Authority reputation

While you may look for a cheap certificate, always ensure that the CA is reputed. Websites storing sensitive information should go with a paid certificate.

Most of the renowned CAs provide them at prices that will come within your budget. You can look for the Comodo SSL certificate where the prices are low, and you can choose one based on your requirements.

The time is taken for issuance

If you have a smaller website, the time taken for issuance can be a crucial factor. The DV certificates have the lowest time for issuance and are usually issued within a few minutes. The OV SSL can take up to 3 days, while the EV SSL can take from 5 – 7 days to be issued. However, it would help if you also considered the quantum and sensitivity of the data stored in your web server.

Customer Support

The customer support for the products we buy usually does not rank high on our list of parameters. However, it is also essential to ensure that you receive prompt customer support when you raise a ticket. Most renowned CAs and resellers provide 24X7 customer support over chat, email, or phone. You can go through customer reviews and assess whether you can receive prompt support services if there is an issue.

Which is the ideal option for you?

When businesses must select an SSL certificate, you must first understand your requirements. The web admins must assess the severity of the risk associated with the website. The amount of sensitive data stored in the servers is one of the critical factors to decide the type of certificate needed.

You must also have a collated list of the digital assets that you must support. The time you can devote towards managing the certificate and the testimonials of current clients regarding customer service are also factors to consider.

Conclusion

There has been an increase in the number of data breaches across businesses – both big and small. The web admins must install an SSL certificate that can secure the communication with the visitor’s browser. But what are the factors you must consider before buying one? We have discussed these in detail, and we hope you will find them helpful in making your buying decision.

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Fawad Malik

Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion and founder of nogentech dot org. He is an expert in enlightening the latest technology reviews and news to the world and community built around the Nogentech. He also helps people build quality backlinks.
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