Don’t have an SSL Certificate installed on your site? Google is coming for you.

Online security is a necessity in the modern world. And, in an attempt to improve it, Google now displays a ‘Not Secure’ message to any website that does not have an SSL installed.

 

Google Chrome SSL warning on website
Example of a the Google warning displayed on a website without SSL certification.

What is an SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security technology that acts like an electronic passport for your website. It establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser. The link ensures that all data transferred between the two remains safe and private. Without it in place, the data could be intercepted and harvested.

Do I need one?

If your site has any kind of text input (contact forms, search bars, payment forms, login panels) then you will need an SSL certificate.

How do I know I don’t already have one?

Any website address that begins with http:// is a hallmark of a site that does not have SSL certification. Once SSL is installed, this will change to https:// and will display a padlock icon at the beginning of the address bar.

 

DV & OV Validation SSL address bar
Example of how DV & OV SSL Certification is displayed in a browser.

 

Site without SSL Certification address bar
Example of how a site without SSL Certification is displayed in a browser.

 

If you see that your site address begins with https:// but, instead of a padlock, you see an information icon, this means that you website is only partly secured and that some of your web resources are not being served securely. This should be investigated as soon as possible.

 

Mixed Content SSL in address bar
Example of how a site with Mixed Content errors is displayed in a browser.

Types of SSL

Domain Validated Certification

This is the most common type of certification. The Certificate Authority that issues the certificate checks the rights of the applicant to use a specific domain name. No official company identification is vetted and users can be sure that their information is encrypted. However, it does not state who is truly receiving this information.

DV SSL are the certification of choice for most businesses as they are quick to set up, require no submission of company information and are relatively low-cost.

 

DV & OV Validation SSL address bar
Example of how DV & OV SSL Certification is displayed in a browser.

 

Organisation Validated Certification

The Certificate Authority carries out the same checks as a DV SSL, plus it conducts some vetting of the requesting organisation. Additional company information is displayed to customers when clicking on the Secure Site Seal, providing further clarity on who is behind the site.

 

DV & OV Validation SSL address bar
Example of how DV & OV SSL Certification is displayed in a browser.

 

Extended Validation Certification

The Certificate Authority carries out the same checks as a OV SSL, plus it conducts a thorough vetting of the requesting organisation. The steps required for full issuance include:

  • verifying the legal, physical and operational existence of the entity,
  • verifying that the identity of the entity matches official records,
  • verifying that the entity has exclusive right to use the domain specified in the EV SSL Certificate,
  • and verifying that the entity has properly authorised the issuance of the EV SSL Certificate.

 

Extended Validation SSL address bar
Example of how Extended Validation SSL Certification is displayed in a browser.

 

Sites with EV SSL benefit from extended security enhancements within browsers, displaying the site address within a green bar or green font. For site owners aiming to assert the highest levels of authenticity, then this is the ideal solution.

All of the certification solutions above can be implemented on a single domain, subdomains (Wildcard SSL), or multiple domains (Multi Domain).

Wildcard SSL

A wildcard SSL protects not only the top level domain but the subdomains too. For example: a wildcard certificate will secure your main address www.yoursite.com as well as any subdomain such as blog.yoursite.com or shop.yoursite.com.

Multi domain SSL

This solution allows site owners to protect up to 100 domains via single certificate. They are specially designed to secure Microsoft Exchange and Office communications environments.

How do I get an SSL installed on my site?

All web customers that have a hosting plan with Nephew Media benefit from free, single domain, Domain Validated SSL certifications, including installation.

Customers with third-party hosting (such as GoDaddy or 123 Reg) will incur a fee for the certification and installation. Fees depend on the type of SSL required.

Interested in getting an SSL setup and installed? Let's chat.