All You Need to Know About SSL Certificates

What is an SSL Certificate, and Why Do You Need One?

Navigating the SSL Certificate purchase journey for the first time can be daunting if you don’t completely understand what you are buying and whether it is legitimate or not. Boss GTS, the I.C.T company you can trust in South Africa will make the journey easy for you, ensuring that your website or online store has the protection it needs to help you build trust relationships with your customers.

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate allows you to encrypt communication between your website and any visitor’s browser, presenting a secure environment. SSL Certificates are used on website pages where visitors are requested to share sensitive information which may include payment information, passwords, and the like.

The certificates are prevalent on payment pages, login pages and pages where a visitor is requested to opt-in. With the encryption put in place through the SSL Certificate, you effectively put a lock in place that protects anyone from seeing the online activity.

SSL Certificates are a safety measure against hackers who attempt to steal sensitive information. It is easy to identify sites that have SSL certificates in place by looking for the closed lock that appears next to the URL if the site is secure. You may also note that secure site URLs begin with HTTPS rather than just HTTP, the “s” standing for secure.

For sites such as e-commerce sites, an SSL certificate is an extremely important part of allowing the visitor to confirm the identity of the store through viewing the SSL certificate. Any visitor can click on the SSL Certificate and obtain the confirmation of identity with ease.

Besides protecting sensitive information and safeguarding data, SSL Certificates also improve Google rankings and aid in building a trusting relationship between you and your customers or visitors. Potential customers are far more likely to buy from an online store or website that has an SSL Certificate in place and can provide a measure of security, than one that doesn’t have these precautions in place.

Types of SSL Certificates

Boss GTS, the I.C.T company you can trust in South Africa will easily be able to guide you when making that SSL Certificate purchase.

  • SSL Certificate by Validation Level
    Validation level refers to how the Certificate Authority confirms the identity of the company or person applying for the certificate. There are three main types of certificates:
    • DV or domain validated
    • OV or organisation validated
    • EV or extended validation

  • Domain Validated SSL Certificates
    A domain validated SSL certificate indicates that there is a valid, registered domain in use and that an administrator is running the URL. This certificate authority uses validation processes through email, DNS, or HTTP.

  • Advantages
    • Cheap
    • Fast to obtain

  • Disadvantages
    • Not as secure as other SSL Certificates
    • Visitors might not trust your site as much because your certificate doesn’t force you to validate your company
    • Potential customers might not be happy to hand over their payment information with this security measure of certificate in place


  • Organisation Validated SSL Certificates
    This kind of certificate validates that you own a registered domain and that you own a company that is registered to operate in a particular country, state/province, and city.

    The process to obtain an organisation validated SSL certificate is the same as with domain validated however there are a few additional steps required to validate your company details and identity.

    The certificate will reflect the company information in the certificate details section which offers an added measure of security for your potential customers. This kind of certificate is fairly quick to obtain and can take anything from a few hours to days.

  • Extended Validation SSL Certificates
    The extended validation SSL certificate requires a business to provide additional records and information as proof of ownership of the business. The certificate provides the same validation as the other certificates but in addition, it proves that you have legally registered the company as a business.

    The process of obtaining this type of certificate is lengthy and can take anywhere from days to weeks to achieve. You will be required to provide documents confirming the identity of your company as well as other information.

    This is the most secure SSL Certificate available when it comes to validation level.

  • SSL Certificates by Secured Domain
    The scope of a certificate can be limited, meaning that you would need to specify the sub-domains secured under the certificate. An SSL Certificate doesn’t automatically secure domains and sub-domains.

  • Single-Name and Wildcard SSL Certificates
    As the name implies, single-name SSL Certificates, protect only one sub-domain. This type of certificate is the ideal choice if you only need to add a certificate to one sub-domain. Perhaps it has been added at a later stage.

  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
    Using the SAN extension on Multi-Domain SSL Certificates you can protect many different domains with just one certificate. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates allow you to combine several hostnames, regardless of whether they are from the same domain.

Now that you understand the different SSL certificates available, you can identify the one suited to your website or business. Use a reputable certificate authority when purchasing SSL Certificates. Purchasing a certificate that doesn’t match up to the ones mentioned above, is a waste of time and money.

Your users will be presented with an untrusted error message on the browser, and you could potentially lose a phenomenal amount of business and the trust of the consumer population using the internet to make purchases.

Boss GTS, the I.C.T company you can trust in South Africa partners up with numerous providers, making the SSL Certificate purchase process easier to navigate and cost-effective.

Call today on 032 – 8660010 to find out how our team can help you secure your site and improve your Google rankings.