What is SSL and How Can it Protect My Website?

What is ssl. Photo of an eye and a box with a lock in it.

As the Internet grows as a medium of communication, commerce and interaction, so do the prevalence of risks and security threats. One way to effectively protect your domain is with an SSL certificate.

How SSL Works

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – is a protocol in the form of a certificate that can be installed with any hosted domain to improve the security of your website. In short, SSL is installed to the hosting server and encrypts communications. At a more advanced level, SSL certificates also include organizational validation and vetting, to provide the highest level of confidence for your website's visitors.

In order to use SSL, you must have a hosted domain. The domain host provides a special key, called a CSR (Certificate Signing Request), which is integrated within the SSL certificate to verify the correct domain and usage. The SSL certificate is then installed into the hosting server, automatically updating and securing the associated domain.

For a demonstration of how SSL works, watch this helpful video made by GlobalSign, our certificate authority (CA): 

Identifying SSL

There are several ways to identify a website with SSL installed. From a technical perspective, SSL changes the regular protocol (HTTP) to a more secure protocol (HTTPS) and modifies the default port for communications. From a user perspective, most browsers display a padlock icon with the URL, identifying that it is secured. The highest level of SSL also turns the URL field green in some browsers.

Securing Domains

SSL certificates are provided by organizations called Certificate Authorities (CAs) – also referred to as Signing Authorities. These organizations are often well-known digital security experts, working continuously to improve their products. Rebel's SSL certificates are provided by GlobalSign, a well-established company known for digital security. After reviewing many CAs, we've decided that GlobalSign provides the highest value in SSL to meet the needs of our customers.

SSL is most often used with business/e-commerce websites, particularly where secure information (such as credit card details) are being exchanged. SSL is still optional for smaller or personal websites, and there are introductory levels (such as AlphaSSL) that are ideal for these basic needs.

Types of SSL

Internic.ca offers four major types of SSL:

AlphaSSL

Starting with a basic level of encryption and the most standard configuration options, AlphaSSL is ideal for personal websites or small businesses without e-commerce.

DomainSSL

With more complex configuration, DomainSSL is ideal for small-to-medium businesses or organizations without complex security needs beyond basic e-commerce.

OrganizationalSSL

With the most advanced selection of configuration options, OrganizationalSSL is perfect for medium-to-large businesses or organizations with complex security needs, customer accounts, and sensitive information.

ExtendedSSL

With the highest level of security, encryption, and insurance, ExtendedSSL is ideal for high-security businesses and organizations with extremely sensitive personal or financial information.

Adding SSL to Your Domain

Securing your domain is easy with SSL, and a big win in terms of risk mitigation and customer confidence. You can view our full range of GlobalSign SSL certificates and find the right type for your needs.

For more information about our SSL Certificates, click here for our FAQ articles.

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