A Quick Review Of SSL Certificate Basics

With more and more people building their own website, it is always helpful to review the basics of different aspects of website development and security. Comodo is a world leader as a Trust Provider, ensuring that information exchanged between a website or the browser and the server is completely secure.

This level of security and protection is completed through the use of SSL certificate. This stands for Secure Socket Layer, which is a protocol that requires the browser on a device have a key that can communicate with a key in a server. Through this system, only an authentic website on a browser will be recognized as secure.

These SSL certificate basics may seem simple, but it is actually a very specific procedure to be verified. The Certificate Authority (CA) has to provide a full infrastructure that is dedicated to providing online security. The infrastructure and advanced levels of encryption are used to thwart hackers, prevent phishing and even detect spoofed websites for customer protection.

Back to the Beginning

To understand SSL certificate basics, a quick definition of SSL and this technology occurred and what drove the market will be important. Secure Sockets Layer, now known as SSL, was first developed by Netscape in 1994, so it is an established concept and technology.

The first use of HTTP or hypertext transfer protocol wasn't until November of 1990. This was implemented to address the growing use of the world wide web and to provide a uniform way for two different devices or applications to communicate. While highly effective in this function, http allows all devices and applications to communicate, which means it isn't offering any type of security.

The mid to late part of 1993 saw the introduction of the S-HTTP or Secure HTTP by Allan Schiffman and co-developer Eric Rescorla. They produced the Secure Mosaic, which is the first recognized secure browser.

Then, in 1994, Netscape introduced SSL. This is sometimes referred to as Hypertext Protocol with SSL/TLS with the TLS standing for Transport Layer Security. This is the newest generation of Secure Socket Layer technology and has been in place since January of 1999.

This security extends to almost everything that is done online today. There are secure email servers using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP or sites using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) all which are secure.

How Secure Connections Are Developed

Now that you have the SSL certificate basics and history, we need to take a closer look at how Comodo protects information transmitted and received by your website and all its functions. This can include providing secure email, logins, payments and downloads or anything else you may require.

The basic service we provide is as a Certificate Authority or CA. We issue digital certificates that stipulate that the website is authentic and the company and site are valid. This is completed through our protocols and procedures, which meet all the rigid standard required to conform with the AICPA/CICA WebTrust for Certification Authorities Principles and Criteria.

To maintain these certifications and ensure we are meeting all the protocols and procedures required, our company goes through regular third-party, independent audits. This verifies we are fully vetting and validating all applications for SSL certificates at any level. We also have to provide a Certification Practice Statement that provides the exact, step-by-step process we use for the validation of each application.

Our SSL certificates are recognized by 99.9% of devices and by all major browsers. This means that our root CA is already embedded in the browsers, allowing the certificates we issue to be instantly recognized to create the secure connection.

When people see a warning message when visiting a website about the secure nature of the site, this is typically because the CA is not a trusted source. In other words, unlike Comodo SSL certificates, the browser doesn't recognize the CA so the certificate is not trusted.

One of the changes in SSL certificate basics is the availability of different types of certificates. At Comodo, we offer both single site security products as well as our Wildcard SSL that is ideal for ecommerce sites or online businesses with a main domain and multiple subdomains.

With the Wildcard SSL, it is possible to use one certificate to easily secure the main domain and all the subdomains quickly and effectively. To learn more about any of our SSL certificates just have a look around the website at https://ssl.comodo.com/. Our team is also available by phone at +1 888 266 6361, give us a call today and we can discuss your online security needs.

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