Why do I need an SSL certificate?
Today, if you want your site to look legitimate and trustworthy, you must install an SSL Certificate on your site. If you don't, people won't trust your website. They'll think that there's something wrong with it, and they might even assume that everything on your site could be hacked. An SSL enabled website appears and is much more secure.
SSL certificates help you encrypt your traffic to prevent third parties from reading what you type into forms, logins, and passwords. If someone else gets access to your sensitive information, they cannot steal your identity or sell it on the black market. Additionally, having an SSL certificate makes it easier for customers to shop on your site. They won’t have to worry about entering their credit card number into a form that doesn’t require encryption.
How can my visitors tell if my site is secure?
If your website has a valid certificate installed, almost all modern browsers will display a green or grey padlock icon to indicate that it is secure. If a website is not secure, the browser usually displays a red warning to alert the user to stay away from that website. Expired certificates will also cause the browser to show a warning.
How does the SSL certificate create a secure connection?
Communication over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) always begins with an SSL handshake. This process establishes a secure connection before any data is transferred. An SSL handshake occurs whenever you connect to a website via HTTPS. The browser gets the public key from a digital certificate, which contains the server’s name, expiration date, and other important information about the server. The browser verifies the certificate by comparing it against a list of trusted certificates. If the browser finds one that matches the certificate, it trusts the site and lets the communication proceed.
When the browser connects to the server, it sends several pieces of information, such as the SSL version number, cipher setting, session-specific data, and other things needed to establish a secure connection. The server responds by sending a copy of the server’s certificate, which includes the server’s SSL version number, cipher configuration, session-specific data along with the public key.
In response, the browser checks whether the certificate matches the pre-installed list. If it does, the browser accepts the certificate and lets the communication continue.
What does this tool do?
Our tool displays SSL certificate details about a domain. The information below will be displayed after entering the domain and clicking submit.
- Issuing Organization/ Certificate Authority (CA)
- Common name
- Date issued
- Expiry date
How to get an SSL certificate?
To get an SSL certificate, you must first obtain a certificate signing request (a CSR). This is done by creating a self-signed certificate on your web server. You can use OpenSSL command line tool to do it. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to generate a CSR using OpenSSL.
Once you have generated the CSR, you must submit it to a Certification Authority (CA), such as GoDaddy, Symantec, RapidSSL, etc. They will issue you a signed certificate file based on the CSR information you submitted.
The following steps illustrate the process of generating a CSR and submitting it to a Certificate Authority (CA):
- Generate a Key Pair on Your Server
- Create the Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
- Submit the CSR to the Certificate Authority
- Download the Signed Certificate
You will also be required to do domain validation, a process that verifies your ownership of the domain.
This process may differ depending on your hosting provider or server type. You may receive multiple certificate files from your provider. The files are put together in a list to perform certificate chaining, which helps establish trust.
How do you know if you have an SSL certificate?
Simply open your web browser and visit your URL. All popular browsers will display an error if no valid certificate is installed.
You may also use this SSL checker tool.