Written by Merlijn Broersma 10 June 2017
What is an SSL Certificate and how does it work?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol for transmitting private documents via the Internet developed by Netscape. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data − a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message.

When you are using internet, you are always using a connection to a server - usually the server that hosts the website that you are browsing. Each time that you load a website in your browser, you load data from the website server; whenever you insert data in web forms, you send data to that server.

If the website uses an SSL Certificate, it means that all the information that you introduce on that website will be encrypted (secured), and that it can be decrypted only by the server on which the certificate is installed. In other words, the SSL serves as a security branch between your browser and the server of the website. Therefore, SSL certificates are recommended for all websites that process or keep personal information.

How can I see if a website is encrypted via an SSL certificate?

The easiest way to recognize a secured website is by checking the website’s URL (web address). This address will contain an extra “s”:

https://- instead of just http://- In addition to the extra “s,” you will see a small lock icon in front of the website’s URL.

What type of SSL certificates are there available?

  • Domain verification

This verification is checked by the e-mail address that is associated to the domain name requested and provides the security needed for most applications.

  • Organization verification

This certificate is also checked by e-mail, but also requires a phone verification and checks whether the domain name is associated to the correct legal entity (registration number of the company).

  • Extended verification

In addition to all the aforementioned checks, this type of SSL also requires a verification of an executive of the company. This option is generally recommended for businesses that handle personal information, such as medical or banking records.

What type of SSL certificates are there available?
An SSL Certificate also has another advantage, namely helping to obtain a higher place in search engine results

The main reason for this is the fact that Google started to consider the secure connection in their search result order. However, SSL is still a lightweight signal compared to high-quality-content and mobile optimization. These remain the Google’s main concerns, but this does not mean that SSL can simply be ignored. Google may still decide to weigh the SSL certificate heavier in due time, for its ranking criteria are ever changing. In addition, an SSL Certificate increases visitor trust and gives your website – and hence your organization – a safer and more serious outlook.

Click here if you want to learn more about Google Ranking and why it is so important.

We hope to see more https websites in the future, so the web will be a bit safer for everyone! If you have a question regarding the purchase of your own SSL Certificate, feel free to contact us.