SSL is one of the important components that a website must have. With SSL, data transfer on the website becomes more secure and encrypted. Even so important, Google Chrome labels websites without an SSL certificate as Not Secure. What is SSL and why is it so important for websites? How does SSL work? What is the difference between SSL and TLS? All these questions will be answered in this article!
What are SSL and TLS?
What is SSL? SSL certificate or better known as SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer . If this security system is added to your website, the website URL will change to HTTPS. The main purpose of installing SSL is to protect data exchange that occurs over the internet.
In the beginning we were offended, what is the difference between SSL and TLS? In fact, SSL is no longer used at all and has been replaced by TLS.
Even so, because most people are too familiar with the term SSL, companies still use the term. Whereas basically the encryption feature provided is now TLS.
Both of them secure data transfer on the website. However, TLS technology is better because it is newer and is an upgrade from SSL. So you don't need to worry about the difference in terms.
Why Use SSL / TLS?
Broadly speaking, SSL is needed to secure your website from security threats. However, there are also specific reasons why you should use SSL / TLS. The following reasons are mentioned:
1. Avoid Data Theft
SSL / TLS protects you from data theft threats. You do this by encrypting or randomizing sensitive data. That way, anyone will not be able to read the data you have and send it.
2. Avoid sending wrong data
SSL / TLS also functions for authentication ( authentication ). This means that SSL / TLS ensures that you send information or data to a server that is suitable for your destination. Not sending information to hackers or other irresponsible parties.
3. Increase Website Reputation
When the website has SSL / TLS installed, the browser will show a certain notification. In Internet Explorer, the notification will usually be a green block in the address bar . On Firefox or Google Chrome, notifications will be shown as a locked lock icon.
This notification is useful to increase your reputation and trust in the eyes of visitors. With the notification, website visitors will not hesitate to access the website. In the case of an online store website , potential buyers will also not hesitate to shop on your website.
4. Increase Website Ranking in Search Engines
Google's algorithm also prefers websites that have SSL / TLS certificates. Not just love, really. Google even "prohibits" its users from visiting websites that do not have an SSL / TLS certificate.
So it's no wonder that SSL / TLS is also related to website ranking in search engines. A research shows that most websites with SSL / TLS certificates have a higher position in search engines.
How SSL / TLS Works
After understanding what an SSL certificate is and the reasons for using it, now is the time for you to know how it works. This SSL certificate will later help you to secure communication between two computers connected by the internet network.
Data exchange such as visiting websites, sending and receiving e-mails, buying goods online, and important company data will be encrypted so that no irresponsible person tries to use the data illegally.
SSL certificates have two combinations, namely a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt the data to be sent, while the private key is used to decrypt the data into a format that can be reused by the recipient of the data.
Benefits of SSL / TLS
There are many benefits that you can get if you install an SSL certificate on your website. Here are some of the benefits of SSL:
1. Increase Website Reputation
If your website URL still uses the HTTP protocol, Google will automatically display a Not Secure warning every time a visitor visits your website. This warning will also appear when visitors fill in sensitive data or information such as login data and passwords, forms, as well as personal data and account numbers. Indirectly, Google forces website owners to secure and encrypt data on the internet network.
2. Securing Data Transfer on the Website
Another advantage of using an SSL certificate is that with the encryption owned by SSL, the data will be more secure. The data exchange that occurs between your computer and the computer of a visitor who tries to visit your website will be protected by a public key and a private key. What's more, padlock and HTTPS labels will help ordinary visitors to be more calm when accessing your website.
3. Improve SEO Quality
Installing an SSL certificate on the website has a positive effect on the quality of your SEO. Since 2014, Google has implemented an algorithm that prioritizes websites with SSL compared to websites without SSL.
Although SSL is just one of the many SEO factors that Google applies, it is certainly better if you enable SSL. Moreover, free SSL is now available.
Changes from HTTP to HTTPS
So what does HTTP and HTTPS have to do with using an SSL security system?
Websites that have used an SSL certificate will change their URL from the HTTP to HTTPS protocol. The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is quite influential for visitors in today's digital era. Ordinary users usually recognize SSL certificates with HTTPS marks that are found when accessing certain websites.
HTTP ( HyperText Transfer Protocol ) and HTTPS ( HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure ) are protocols specifically designed to transfer information from one computer to another over the internet network. The most striking difference between HTTP and HTTPS is the addition of the letter S ( Secure ).
However, HTTP is a secure unencrypted version. The absence of authentication makes you not really know who you are interacting with while on the internet network. It could be, when you are transacting with someone, hackers are ready to store your important data.
The addition of one letter is very important because it means that the website has an SSL certificate installed. This SSl certificate installation indicates that the computers in contact have agreed with a code that overwrites any attempt to read and retrieve the data they have.
As a website owner, of course this is very helpful if you transact with your clients. This is a very serious concern if you have an e-commerce type website, because you and your clients will often exchange important information such as personal data, account numbers, and so on.
Types of SSL / TLS
The types of SSL below are differentiated according to the SSL security requirements of each website.
1. Domain Validated SSL (DV SSL)
This SSL is highly recommended for SMB (growing businesses) who need a solution at an affordable price. This DV level SSL certificate only requires domain ownership i.e. DNS or email validation.
DV SSL will only show information that your website is a secure and encrypted website. So, it is not recommended for e-commerce to use this level of SSL. DV SSL is suitable for use on testing websites or your internal business website. When you use this certificate, the sign that the domain is secure is HTTPS and a green padlock.
2. Organization Validated SSL (OV SSL)
This SSL is actually the same as DV SSL. However, the domain owner must verify by showing proof of domain ownership and legitimacy. This means that a certificate issuer or CA (Certificate Authority) such as GeoTrust, Comodo , and others will ensure that the domain has been registered with business name, location, and other legal information.
OV SSL is usually used on company websites to make it appear more secure and reliable to visitors. When you use this certificate, the sign that the domain is secure is HTTPS and a green padlock.
3. Extended Validated SSL (EV SSL)
EV SSL has a high level of security and is highly recommended for your online business , especially e-commerce websites. The hallmark of this EV SSL is that your business name is written in green in the URL bar near the domain name.
EV SSL requires domain owners to verify domain ownership with some legal documents. This is because SSL is usually used for those who have trusted business entities such as PT, CV, and State Department.
How to Choose SSL / TLS
In the previous discussion, the types of SSL have been explained. Please note that there are paid SSL and free SSL. For those of you who want to use cheap SSL for the first time and want to experiment at no cost, you can try Cloudflare's free SSL. However, if you choose the free version, you won't get the premium features of Cloudflare. After your blog or website starts to grow, you can choose Paid SSL for DV SSL type.
If you have a website for your business or an organization, then Organization Validated SSL (OV SSL) is the right choice to ensure ownership of domains registered with the company or organization name, clear location and other important information.
The last one is Extended Validated SSL (EV SSL). For those of you who run an online business or e-commerce, this type of SSL is the best choice because it has the highest level of security.
How to Install SSL / TLS
For those of you who are new to SSL and want to do the installation yourself, there's no need to worry because we've prepared a guide. However, before that, make sure you are going to use free or paid SSL / TLS.
You need to consider this based on the needs and budget that you have. Some free SSLs already provide important features that the website needs. Even so, to get the complete features, you need to use paid SSL.
Again, whether you go with free or paid SSL, the decision is yours.
So, if you want to install free SSL, you can follow the guidelines in this article . If you want to install paid SSL, you can follow the guide here .
After installing SSL via cPanel, you need to point your website to a new address, from the previous HTTP to HTTPS. This applies to both free and paid SSL. Relax, you can do this using a plugin.
You can take advantage of the Really Simple SSL plugin .
After installing the plugin and activating it, open the Settings menu > SSL .
At the top of the page you will see a message if the redirect to HTTPS is not yet active. To fix this, click the Go ahead button , activate SSL!
Refresh your browser. If successful, you will see a success message which means that SSL on your WordPress blog is active.
Immediately Install SSL Certificate on Your Website!
Given how important an SSL certificate is, we recommend installing SSL / TLS on your website immediately. That way the reputation of your website will be better in the eyes of Google and website visitors.
In addition, websites that have an SSL certificate also have a higher potential for ranking in Google search results. Finally, the most important thing is that the data transfer on your website becomes more secure because all data activities are securely encrypted.