Websites have become a must-have for businesses both small and big. Building and sustaining a website have become more manageable than it was 15 years ago. Since then, there have been significant improvements in many aspects; the top is web security. One top concern many people ask about web security is the difference between SSL and website security which we will be discussing in this guide.
The menace of cybercrime resulting in data theft and other online vices has led to the need for increased online security. So, make a website as safe as possible, despite the difference between SSL and web security.
Like power supply is to an apartment, the website security serves as the security system that keeps an apartment safe from intrusion, such as the doors, windows, burglaries, etc. SSL certificates are like the devices used to protect electricity that flows into the apartment. Therefore, SSL certificates safeguard users’ data that flows in and out of a website, while website security protects the website itself.
What is SSL?
Nowadays, browsers mark websites as secure or unsecured based on the availability of an SSL certificate. Although having the SSL certificate is essential, it is only half of the story, as having the SSL certificate doesn’t make a website secure. A website with an SSL certificate starts with HTTPS:// and not HTTP://
Secure socket layer protocol or SSL creates an encrypted and secure connection between a browser and a website. SSL protocols ensure that links are encrypted when there is an exchange of information between a browser and a website. SSL ensures that people can’t view data that is being exchanged, and this is the most popular and the best way to protect user data from being compromised. To create an SSL security, a website must have an SSL certificate issued by a certificate authority that validates the SSL. This process is automatic, and users will only see a green padlock when browsing their address bar.
Types of SSL
There are three popular types of SSL with different levels of functionalities, and they include:
- Premium Extended Validation SSL: this is the most effective type of SSL available. It required a great deal of documentation to obtain the certificate. This type of SSL displays a padlock and the name of the organization.
- The Organization Validated SSL requires some extra documentation, but it doesn’t display the organization’s name as the premium extended validation.
- The Domain Validated SSL: this is the most popular among SSL, this type of SSL requires the least amount of documentation, and they only verify the domains name.
What is Website Security?
Website security is protocols set in place to make a website a safe place for visitors. They are technologies that a website owner uses to make their website a safe place for those who use the website.
The type of website would determine the type and level of security the website may use. For instance, the level of protection a financial website may require would be higher than the one needed for a blog. To keep hackers away from a website, such a website must have various layers of security—some measures to secure a website include.
Security plugin: this kind of plugin strengthens the web site’s security, making it difficult for people with nefarious intentions to get in. It often features functions such as network security, refreshing WordPress salt, blacklisting of repeated lawbreakers.
Backup: This plugin creates automatic and regular backups. The backed-up files mustn’t be stored on the said website.
Firewall services: a good firewall service will block out hackers and unwanted intruders. A firewall can be acquired from the web foster or other website security company.
Prevention of unwanted intrusion: this can be done by using a strong password that cannot be easily guessed.
The difference between SSL and website security
Since we have understood the meaning of both SSL and web security, it is now pertinent we discuss what separates one from the other. Although both are required for adequate protection, one cannot do the work of the other.
While SSL protects the visitor, website security protects the house. Using a website with the SSL protocol is recommended. However, this alone does not ensure that the website is secure. It is easy to glance at the HTTP:// symbol and assume that the website is secure. Nonetheless, this notion can be misleading as it does not entirely mean that the website is secure.
Website security includes plugins are technologies that are specially crafted to secure a website from intrusion. These plugins may
have malware and vulnerability scanner tools that prevent, detect and fix malware attacks, antiviruses, etc.
The information users share with a website and the one the website shares with the user are duly protected when an SSL certificate is installed. It does not cover the website from hackers or malware and viruses. Hence having an SSL certificate doesn’t mean a secured website.
Why do websites need SSL?
Websites need SSL to protect user’s information against third-party interference, verify website ownership, prevent hackers from building a counterfeit edition of the website. Without the SSL protocol, log-in details and personal information such as credit card details used on any website would be at risk of being seen by others.
How to tell if a website has the SSL certificate
There are easy steps to identify which website has the SSL protocol and which one doesn’t. The following are ways through which we can quickly determine if a website has SSL:
- The first and easiest way to determine whether a website has the SSL protocol is to if the URL starts with https://or http://.The “S” means the site has an SSL certificate installed.
- The second way is to check whether there is a padlock emblem; clicking the padlock will display the security details. Sites with green padlocks signify a more trustworthy site.
- Some browsers can also notify the users of the dangers of unsecured websites by displaying an unlocked padlock or a line across the website’s URL.
The need for online security cannot be overemphasized, and as technology advances, cybercrime is also taking a new dimension. Hence, the demand for having the proper security measures set up to protect websites against vulnerabilities. In doing this right, SSL and web security should be considered to have comprehensive security against various kinds of cyber-attacks, despite the difference between SSL and website security.
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