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Security & Privacy

How to Tell if You Need SSL

Acronyms can be confusing: DNS, TLD, URL. What do they all mean? And do you really> need to remember them all? Not to worry. If you’re new to the world of domain hosting, most of these acronyms are just fancy ways of saying long, confusing names. Often, you can get away with having an idea of what they mean and letting someone else worry about the details.
But when it comes to Secure Sockets Layers or SSLs, you’ll want to sit up and pay attention.

Namecheap is a huge champion for online privacy and security. So SSLs are a big deal for us. SSLs serve two essential functions: Encryption and authentication. They keep information safe in transit and they ensure that the website that data is going to (or coming from) is a trusted site.

I’ve just got a basic personal site. Do I really need an SSL certificate?

SSLs are used mostly by sites that involve some level of e-commerce and rely on the trustworthiness of their brand to attract and retain customers. Your blog, personal site or portfolio is not a likely target for hackers, so you probably don’t need to worry about an SSL certificate. Though, by nature, SSLs promote your safety and privacy online. If you’ve got sensitive, proprietary or copyrighted information, or if you have a login page or online form, you may want to consider a lower-cost SSL certificate as a basic safety measure.

I have an e-commerce site, but I’m on a limited budget. Are there affordable SSL options out there?

Absolutely! SSL certs come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on your budget and desired level of security, Namecheap has an array of options to fit your needs. The three basic SSL types are Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validated (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) Certificates. EV certs create the green browser bar on sites and provide the highest level of authentication, as well as many other benefits.

What are the drawbacks to SSL authentication?

They say you can’t put a price on security. But living in the real world, we also know sometimes it’s a balancing act between cost and benefit, depending on your needs. Overall, the only real downsides to SSL certification are cost and speed. Setting up a trusted infrastructure for your network takes time, effort and money. Encrypting the information within that infrastructure uses more server resources, potentially slowing down your site’s performance. Reduction in performance, however, is usually noticeable only on sites with a high volume of visitors and can be minimized using special hardware. In any case, we think the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to your online privacy and security.  
It’s amazing we’ve gone this long without mentioning it, but be sure to visit our Knowledgebase for even more info on SSLs. You can also hit up our support staff any time via live chat.

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Kendra Hayes

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