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10 Things to Know When Purchasing SSL Certificate

October 27, 2014 | By Editor 

Purchasing SSL CertificateSSL certificates play a very important role in protecting data in transit. It is particularly good for websites that handle critical information. However, before buying an SSL certificate, there are certain important points you must take into consideration.

  1. You might find many Certificate Authorities offering SSL certificates. These certificates range from cheap to expensive depending on the type of SSL you need. However, if you cannot afford to invest much money in an SSL certificate, opt for the cheapest service.
    But before going with a company always remember that the security of the SSL certificates , to an extent, depends on the reputation of certificate authority (CA) as well. Ensure the CA offers a host of services, if you want a smooth installation process.
  2. Be well prepared before buying a digital certificate. Learn about the time length for the SSL certificates, the number of servers that host a single domain,  server platform, and details about the CA. You also need a certificate signing request (CSR) from the  server that is to be secured.
  3. Decide what type of SSL certificate you need. If you are in a business, you would need a high-end one. Apart from the certificates used by sites, there are also certificates for code signing and email system.
  4. You need to know how to generate the CSR. It depends on the software your CA is using. Check with the company to know how to go about the process.
  5. Know what level of encryption you need. To accept credit/debit cards via your website, you need 128-bit encryption level. The highest level is 256-bit. Depending on your requirements, you can choose either of the one.
  6. A common problem faced by most certificate authorities is renewal. Ensure that you request a new SSL certificate 2-4 weeks before your old one expires. It takes some time for the CA to complete the renewal process so do not go for a last minute renewal.
  7. The security of an SSL certificate relies on the private key you get when buying it. Anyone with access to this key can decrypt your personal communications, so ensure you safeguard it well.
  8. Once the SSL certificate is launched, check it in multiple Web browsers and platforms to ensure it is installed properly. You can also take help from your CA with this task.
  9. In case you need more than one SSL certificate, it might become slightly difficult to manage all of them. Ensure you maintain records on how and when the certificates must be renewed.
  10. Make sure that the CA you are working with offers plenty of support. Things can go wrong some times and it is  good to have someone you can depend on to fix any potential issues you may face during buying or installing an SSL certificate.

Also, make sure you read through the SSL reviews given on various websites. SSL Reviews will give you an idea, to a fair extent, about the quality of the SSL certificates and reputation of the certificate authority.

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