About SSL Certificate Checker Tool
What is an SSL?
SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. It's a standard security technology that establishes a secure connection between a web server and a browser.
SSL connection ensures that data transferred remain private. The SSL is also called TLS (Transport Layer Security).
SSL certificate is what enables the website to move from HTTP to HTTPS. An SSL is the data file hosted on the website origin server that makes SSL/TLS encryption possible. It has a key pair: a public and private key. These keys work together to create an encrypted connection. The certificate also contains "subject," which is the identity of the certificate/website owner.
Why do I need an SSL certificate?
An increase in cyber security threats led to emphasis on user security. A study by pewresearch.org shows that 68% of internet users believe that current laws are insufficient to protect their rights.
Therefore, in 2014, the search engine giant Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal. Today, if you want your website to look legitimate and trustworthy. Want to boost sales, revenue, customer loyalty, and rank higher in SERPs? You must have an SSL certificate installed on your website.
If you are selling something online or allowing the users/customers to create an account on your website, an SSL certificate helps protect customers information.
Here are the following reasons why every web owner should serve each website over HTTPS on the internet.
- Identity: SSL certificate gives verification to any website. This authentication plays an essential role in online security. Website verification is the same as verifying social media accounts. However, the SSL certificate does not allow any other website to make a fake version of yours. That enables the users to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit websites, helping them filter explicit fraudulent sites.
- Performance: Modern SSL can improve the page load time. SSL enables HTTPS/2, making the website two times faster without having any changes in the codebase. As per Google, page speed is an essential factor in user experience, and it has a direct influence on the conversion rate. The study showed that pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate.
- Search ranking boost: For Google, the user is the boss, and for the user, privacy protection matters. Google gives priority to those websites in its SERPs that are served over HTTPS.
- Security: The majority of internet users believe that current laws are not enough to protect their privacy on the internet. Therefore, they are always afraid of sharing their information like their credit card information or other personal information on the internet. SSL establishes an encrypted link between server and client, typically between the web server (website) and the browser. It guarantees nobody can snoop on users' data.
- Trust: With a padlock icon in the browser's address bar, encrypting traffic with SSL improves visitors' trust. It also ensures that third parties, including hackers and online thieves, cannot access the data.
- Regulatory compliance: SSL is a critical component in PCI compliance. Generally, SSL certificates come with a full 256-bit encryption key, which is impossible for hackers to crack. Therefore, there is no possibility of sensitive data getting leaked. Considering the heavily-armed protection provided by SSL certificates, it wouldn't be wrong to call it the backbone of PCI DSS.
Note: PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
How to get an SSL certificate?
To get an SSL certificate.
- Create a certificate signing request (CSR) on the server. That process creates a key pair: public and private key on your server.
- The CSR data file you send to the SSL Certificate issuer (Certificate Authority or CA) contains the public key.
- The SSL Certificate issuer uses the CSR data file to create a data structure to match your private key. The CA never sees the private key.
- On receiving the SSL certificate, install it on your server. The instructions for installing and testing your SSL certificate will be different depending on your server.
The browsers have a pre-installed list of trusted CAs, known as the Trusted Root CA store. Anyone can create the certificate, but the browsers depend on the certificates from the organizations mentioned in their list of trusted CAs.
However, to be a Certificate Authority and be part of the Trusted Root CA store, a company necessarily comply with and be audited against authentication and security standards practiced by the browsers.
How does the SSL certificate create a secure connection?
Communication over SSL always begins with an SSL handshake. The SSL handshake is asymmetric cryptography, which allows the web browser to verify the web server by getting the public key. It creates a secure connection before any beginning of data transfer.
- When the browser connects with the web server secured with SSL, it sends SSL version number, cipher settings, session-specific data, and other information that the web server needs to communicate with the client using SSL.
- In response, the web server sends a copy of its SSL certificate, including the server's SSL version number, cipher settings, session-specific data, and public key.
- The browser checks the certificate against the pre-installed list of trusted CAs. It also filters out that the certificate is unexpired, unrevoked, and its common name is valid for the website it is connecting to.
- If the browser trusts the certificate, it uses the server's public key to creates and sends back an encrypted symmetric session key.
- On receiving the encrypted symmetric session key, the server decrypts it using its private key and sends back a response encrypted with the session key to start an encrypted session.
- Now the server and browser both encrypt all transmitted data with the session key.
What is an SSL checker?
The SSL checker (Secure Sockets Layer checker) is a tool that checks and verifies the proper installation of an SSL certificate on the web server. The SSL check ensures that the SSL certificate is valid, trusted, and functioning correctly.
To do the SSL certificate check, perform the following steps.
- Open the tool: SSL Checker.
- Enter the URL in the space provided for that purpose and click on the "Check SSL Certificate" button.
- The tool will process your query and provide the results, including common name, server type, issuer, validity, certificate chaining, and additional certificate details.
Is my certificate SSL or TLS?
The SSL certificate has always been used for the secure and encrypted transmission of data. Each time when the new version was released, only the version number was altered. However, when the version was updated from SSLv3.0 to SSLv4.0, it was renamed TLSv1.0. TLS is the successor to SSL.