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Self Signed And Third Party SSL - Which One You Should Select?

Online security seems a vital part of any website and becomes the talk of the town nowadays. What makes website reliable is not only limited to its security part but also extends to authentication and data integrity. Only encryption can secure online transactions but until the website shows HTTPS, no one would trust the website. Authentication from a legitimate CA is an inevitable aspect of online security to form trust over the website.

Still, many people are in favor of self-signed certificates that are actually bear no reliability in the world of authenticity. Let us discuss Self-signed certificate and third party certificate in the light of authenticity, data integrity, and other inherent issues.

Self Signed Vs Third Party SSL

Self-Signed Certificate:

Self-signed certificate means the same owner who wishes to certify its own identity, signs the certificate. Self-signed certificate has nothing to do with the organization or individual identity as the certificate is signed with its own private key.

Issues with Self Signed Certificate:

There are certain issues related to the usage of a Self-signed certificate, discussed as under:

  • However, self-signed certificate fails to prove their legitimacy against browser because browsers condemn self-signed certificate and show a warning while visiting such websites.
  • If a private key of a self-signed certificate is compromised, the certificate cannot be revoked and hackers can gain access to data and spoof the identity.
  • If you are running e-Commerce Company, then a self-signed certificate is not for your business, as the visitors would move away from your website, if they encounter any untrusted warning while visiting your website. To gain the trust of customers on your website, you need certificate authority SSL cert as per your website requirement.
  • Third-party CA provides warranty in case of any issuance of a certificate while self-signed certificates do lack such warranty protection.
  • A self-signed certificate is for testing purpose where you can test the website on https connection internally. Testers can ignore pop-up warning during testing, as the internal site is safe.

After viewing the issues related to a self-signed certificate, it would be a wise decision to go for third-party certificate authority (CA) certificate instead of losing valuable current and potential customers. However, many CAs provide free SSL certificate before you enter into a long-term contract with them.

Free SSL certificate is generally issued for a period of thirty days called trial certificate. This certificate can be used also for internal and external purpose as it makes you aware of different aspects of SSL certificate like installation, renewal, order, CSR generation. After completion of trial period, you can renew it with paid SSL certificate. Free SSL certificate follows quick issuance time and offers the same encryption as you get in paid version of a certificate. A reliable CA offers Free SSL certificate therefore, all browser have implemented root certificate of such CA and there is no chance of certificate error.

Third Party SSL Certificate:

Third party certificate is most trustworthy as these are issued from reliable certificate authorities like RapidSSL, GeoTrust, Symantec, GlobalSign, AlphaSSL, Comodo, Thawte. Third party certificates provide data integrity, strong encryption, and verification that avoid attackers from data sniffing and enhance customer trust. Certificate authorities consider validation factor while issuing SSL certificate. Different validations are there to fulfill business needs like domain validation, business validation, and extended validation. Besides, other SSL certificate types are useful in software level, multiple domains, and subdomains level.

Let us take an overview of each certificate as per its usage.

Types of Third Party SSL Certificates:

There are different types of SSL certificate like Wildcard, SAN, EV, Code Signing, domain validation, business validation certificate.

Wildcard SSL Certificate:

For example, *.mydomain.com can protect mail.mydomain.com, exchange.mydomain.com, photos.mydomain.com, blog.mydomain.com. There are much more Advantages of Wildcard SSL Certificate

SAN SSL Certificate:

You can protect your multiple domains with SAN (Subject Alternative Name) certificate.

For example, www.mydomain.com can secure SANs like content.mydomain.com, api.xyz.com, yourdomain.net.

Domain Validation SSL Certificate:

Domain validation follows a basic level validation process in which the CA only confirms the ownership of a domain owner and issue certificate. Domain validation certificate is available at the cheapest price to compare to another type of certificate hence; it is the first choice for small businesses that need budget SSL.

Extended Validation SSL Certificate:

Extended Validation (EV) certificate bestows the highest validation and offers a green address bar. When customers see a green bar with the company name for the website, they can easily realize about website security & would like to deal with that website. This kind of certificate not only provides strong encryption but also pursues sturdy verification process for verification. EV SSL offers protection against phishing activities too.

Business Validation SSL Certificate:

Business validation certificate proves that your business is verified and has strong encryption to avert potential data sniffing. Business has to submit business-related documents for verification to the CA. Business validation certificate is ideal who want to establish their business identity over the web.

Code Signing Certificate:

Software code integrity is critical at present. If the code is not signed, a user will encounter software warning regarding code authenticity. To avoid this issue, code signing certificate signs the code before software distribution and ensures that the code remained intact and not altered since it is signed. Code signing is ideal for software publishers and developers.

When your website has a legitimate certificate, your site will not only have security but many benefits associated with better ranking in search engine, enhanced customer trust along with strong security etc.

Impact on Customer Trust:

When your business is growing, customer trust is much important compared to financial gain. Once the trust is lost, business has to suffer a lot. Cyber criminals are always after online businesses and make their customers fool by enticing them to visit a phishing instead of an original website and capture their sensitive information. In that case, an online business needs customer trust and strong security for their website. SSL certificate is an ideal answer to this issue.

Search Engine Loves SSL:

Google tries to avoid spam to create a secure globe for users and thus Google is prompting to a secure web experience. An extra “S” assures that SSL/TLS has secured the website.

Google also announced to give ranking in a search engine to those websites that have enabled HTTPS. The higher your website ranks in Google, the more visibility your website will get in a search engine.

Even Google also blacklisted those websites, which are malicious and risky for visitors. SSL helps users to search securely in Google search engine and prevents themselves from bogus or malicious websites. Google around punishes 10000 websites on a regular base to provide a secure environment to global users.

A Norton Trusted Seal that comes with Symantec product scans for a vulnerability in the website and alerts users about it as well give remedial measures. When a customer visits a site that is safe from malware or virus, it may happen that customer may revisit your website in near future.

Conclusion:

SSL certificate is not only a security protocol but also a trusted medium on which customers, clients, and business depend upon. Third party SSL creates a trustworthy and secure channel between the enterprise server and the user along with strong encryption. Trusted CAs backs Third-party CA certificate and browsers support their root certificate for establishing a secure connection. Compare to Self-Sign Certificate, Third Party SSL certificate is an ideal one that gives businesses a secured space in emerging cyber threats world.

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