3 Types of SSL Certificates and Their Uses

An SSL certificate is a data file that uses cryptography to secure an organization's private data. In this Techspirited article, you will learn about the 3 main types of SSL certificates and their uses, along with some other special SSL certificates.
Techspirited Staff
Fast Fact
Be warned that counterfeit SSL certificates can be used for man-in-the-middle attacking, spoofing content, and carrying out phishing attacks. They pose a severe threat to users accessing domains like Google, which are protected by the SSL technology.
Digital data protection and security is of utmost importance in today's internet-savvy world. We carry out all kinds of communication, marketing, code creation, etc., by means of the internet. Banks and similar organizations operate online, thus increasing the risk of hackers using websites to gain private information. Even otherwise, social networking sites make us vulnerable to hackers.

Data security methods need to be implemented in order to protect ourselves from online fraud. One such method is the use of an SSL certificate. You will gain perspective about the various SSL certificate types and the purpose of each certificate from the paragraphs outlined below.
Overview
  • SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer, which is a vital security protocol.
  • It comprises data files that bind cryptographic keys to an organization's private details.
  • It is installed on the server, and it ensures secure communication between the server and browser.
  • This is primarily done by confirming the identity of the domain name and using encryption and decryption techniques between the host and the website.
  • It is used for maintaining the integrity of private data on social networking sites, online banking and money transfers, credit card transactions, etc.
Working
Three types of ssl certificates
  • Every organization that deals with private, sensitive data must have an SSL certificate installed on the web server.
  • Basically, the protocol uses private and public keys to encrypt the data sent between the user and server.
  • The server sends a public key to the browser in order to encrypt data sent from its computer.
  • The browser sends the public key back to the server so that it can encrypt the traffic sent from its end.
  • These certificates bind the host/domain name and company name together.
  • When they are installed, a secure connection is established. This can be verified by noting that the standard 'http' format in the address bar changes to 'https'.
Main Types
Domain Validation
  • It has a less rigorous validation procedure.
  • Only the applicant's name and contact information are checked and verified with the data that was entered during registration.
  • The legitimate factor is not checked, and therefore, this is excellent for online sites or businesses who do not transfer or deal with very sensitive data.
  • It is tied directly to the domain name, thus it assures users about the authenticity of the website; however, it does not encourage browser warnings.
Extended Validation
  • Launched in 2007, it is one of the first protocols to stringently follow industry guidelines.
  • The certification application and validation process are extremely rigorous.
  • Each and every business credential is carefully and minutely verified.
  • For sites using this protocol, a way to ensure if the site is protected or not is to check the browser navigation window. It turns green if the site is safe, and turns red at the onset of danger.
  • It helps maintain a high assurance standard, and verifies the authenticity of the business.
Organizational Validation
  • The legitimacy of the applicant's business is checked.
  • It follows a strict validation procedure, and verifies practically all the information of the business.
  • It is an excellent option for online businesses dealing with extremely confidential information.
Other Types
Wildcard
  • It has the ability to encompass an unlimited number of sub domains on a single domain name.
  • The protocol will work on any of those sub-domains; however, they should have the same second level domain name.
Email
It is a simple protocol used to verify the authorship of the e-mail.
Root Signing
  • This can be used to sign other certificates linked to the root certificate.
  • In other words, you can create certificates that will be used by other browsers, and you will hold authority for the same.
Code Signing
  • This uses the concept of digital signature.
  • It enables you to digitally sign a script to verify the details.
  • It also ensures that the data remains uncorrupted since the signature has been used.
Unified Communications
  • It is a multi-domain certificate that ensures protection of multiple domain names with just one certificate.
  • It is used for Unified Communications products, like Exchange Server 2007.
Shared
  • It is shared by numerous sites, but with the same IP address.
  • This is just to get your connection encrypted, and can be used if you are not overtly worried about phishing.
  • It is not tied exclusively to one domain name.
Single-Domain
The first ones to be used, they ensure that the data on a single domain remains protected.
SSL certificates ensure website protection and data integrity. It is almost mandatory for organizations dealing with sensitive, classified information to use this network protocol. If you fail to install this on your server, your site or domain will be susceptible to phishing attacks and other online fraud. To make your domain more secure and protected, it is important to purchase and install this certificate.