How To Bolster Your Website Security With SSL/TLS

It is safe to say that SSL and TLS certificates have become the foundation of web security in today’s digital world. It doesn’t matter whether you own a blog with over a thousand followers or manage a million-dollar business website, you will need to use HTTPS or an SSL certificate for protecting the website.

TLS SSL

However, several business owners often ask how SSL helps to secure a website. Before we delve into that, we would like to shed light on what will happen if you do not use SSL certificates on your website. For instance, you will be able to see a drop in the SEO ranking of your website if you do not have an SSL certificate on your website.

It is also important to note that Google will be issuing a ‘not secure’ warning to websites without SSL certificates. This will affect the reputation and growth of your business, which is something most people would want to avoid. Fortunately, you can avoid all these troubles by investing in an SSL certificate.

How To Secure Website with SSL certificate

SSL and TLS certificates can be described as digital certificates, which use encryption for keeping website data secure and safe. If your website is currently running on HTTP, then you will need to add an SSL or TLS certificate to provide an additional layer of security to your website.

Most of you would be aware that HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP is an application protocol that is used to share data in the WWW (World Wide Web). HTTP actually works for defining how certain data or information can be shared and used on the web.

What is SSL

It will also dictate how internet browsers and web servers respond to specific actions like responding to requests or commands. HTTP also makes it easy for internet users to interact with HTML files and other resources on the site.

This is accomplished by transmitting hypertext messages between services and browsers through TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).

HTTP makes use of a string of various request methods for completing requests such as GET, HEAD, POST, PUT, DELETE, TRACE, OPTIONS, PATCH, and CONNECT. All types of HTTP servers rely on the HEAD and GET requests, but not all of them support the other types of request methods.

Does HTTP Use SSL or TLS Certificates

As mentioned earlier, HTTP is not secure and it doesn’t use SSL or TLS certificates. If you visit a website with the HTTP protocol, then your web browser might display a warning message. This is to indicate that the site you are visiting is not safe and secure.

The reason why HTTP is not secure and safe is that all responses and requests are delivered as plain text. As a result, anyone will be able to access and see the responses and requests that are being shared. This means that hackers may maliciously modify, steal, or delete the data.

How SSL And TLS Certificates Makes HTTP Secure

Website owners and admins will be able to make sure that all responses and requests shared within their website are secure and to do so, you need to purchase SSL certificate. SSL certificates will help businesses by encrypting all HTTP responses and requests.

The TLS/SSL certificate technology is capable of transmitting all responses and requests into a format, which hackers and cybercriminals will not be able to interpret or access.

In the case of HTTP, all requests will be in simple plain text, which makes them an easy target for hackers, but that’s not the case when using SSL certificates.

Websites that are using TLS or SSL certificates for encrypting responses and requests will be able to transform the data into a random mix of letters and numbers. This means that hackers will not be able to read or interpret the information.

So, if you want to ensure that your website is secure, then it is best to get in touch with reliable SSL Certificate providers to buy a digital certificate. Here are a few effective ways that will help you to bolster your SSL security.

Install The Site Seal

Most website admins and business owners might probably know that SSL certificates come with a site seal. If you are not aware of this, then you should note that the site seal will contain the name of the certificate issuing authority.

The website seal that comes with the certificate indicates that a reliable and professional third-party authority has issued and verified the identity of your business.

Businesses that place the website seal at the exact place on the website will be able to easily remind visitors that you are a trusted entity with whom you can do business.

Implement HSTS

There is no point in purchasing and installing an SSL certificate if your site is still available over the HTTP protocol. This is why businesses must direct users to HTTPS instead of HTTPS. If you are wondering how to do it, then HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) is the solution you are looking for.

HSTS serves the crucial purpose of preventing your website from protocol downgrade attacks and cookie hijacking. HSTS forces internet browsers to make connections only over HTTPS.

Generate A CAA Record

If you already have a preferred Certificate Authority and if you only want them to issue TLS/SSL certificates, then you should be looking at certificate authority authorization (CAA). You will need to generate a CAA record for your website.

Once you have done that, no other certificate authority (other than the ones you allow) will be able to issue SSL certificates for your site. This will help you avoid the chance of mis-issuance from both your and CA’s side.

Wrapping Up

SSL certificates are great when it comes to offering adequate protection for your website. That said, SSL certificates should not be considered as a one-stop solution. This is mainly because SSL certificates facilitate the encryption and offer authentication for data-in-transit.

This means that SSL certificates encrypt data when it is transmitted back and forth between the server and the browser. This type of transmission is critical when securing the sensitive data of users such as passwords, credentials, and credit card details.

Unfortunately, this is not enough to get ahead of hackers and cybercriminals. This is why you should implement a comprehensive security strategy for your website. The above-mentioned tips will help you to bolster your SSL security.

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Dan Evert, CCNP

Dan Evert is a self proclaimed Router Jockey. Dan got heavily involved in networking right out of high school and has never looked back! Dan is giving back by working with high school students to get them involved and interested in Networking and Security.

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