Our last blog for the “Refresher” series is about something that offers the most underestimated layer of security: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates.
What Are They?
SSL Certificates are data files that create an encrypted and private connection between the web server and the web browser. However, SSL Certificates do a lot more than that: They verify domain ownership and make it so hackers cannot reproduce false pages to trick users or intercept your private information. Think of sending a package to a friend, but that package is enclosed in a special metal box that makes it so it cannot be intercepted by thieving hands but also confirms to your friend that it came directly from you. To learn more, you can take a look at one of our past blogs “A Beginner’s Guide to SSL Certificates” for more details.
How Do They Work?
First, the SSL Certifications get installed on a web server that allows a secure connection between the web server and the browser. You can tell when it is installed because there is a padlock icon next to the URL and the page URL changes from “HTTP://” to “HTTPS://”. You will notice this on banking, shopping, and even social media sites where log-in and private information are entered into various fields. We’ve also shared in a past blog that websites without “HTTPS://” are now being flagged as insecure, and you might even get a warning on Google Chrome when you try to visit a flagged site.
For small business owners and startup companies, incorporating SSL Certificates is essential to meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards for credit card transactions, but another nice perk is increasing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google or Bing love the added security because it means providing users with a trustworthy and bonafide website, and therefore will bump websites with SSL certificates higher than those that do not.
Why Are They Important?
There are various ways that hackers can intercept your private information if SSL Certificates are not installed. For example, they can install a “listening device” that will collect all the information they can get. They can also trick you into entering your information on a log-in page or link very similar to what you are used to, but upon closer inspection, have bogus details.
These days, it is really easy for hackers to collect private information from users, especially those that let their guard down or don’t think twice about their web presence. Sure, technology has made things a lot easier like shopping, transferring funds, and scheduling appointments, but that shouldn’t ever be at the expense of your livelihood and finances.
Furthermore, as a user it is great to be able to navigate and shop confidently when you see the SSL Certificate indications enabled in the URL bar. With so much spam and shady traps to avoid online, it is nice to have these safeguards in place to ensure that our private information stays safe.
Interested in adding SSL Certifications to your web pages?
Well, you’re in luck! No-IP includes one Encryption Everywhere DV SSL with every Enhanced Dynamic DNS and Plus Managed DNS service. We know that having a secure hostname is important to you and now you can install an SSL on any hostname managed by No-IP for free!
No-IP also provides the option to purchase different SSL Certificate products depending on what you are looking for and how it fits into your IP network needs:
RapidSSL Basic DV – The most basic option in our SSL Certification products, but definitely not lacking! It’s a quick, inexpensive way to secure your website. The RapidSSL Basic DV secures a single domain with strong encryption. It is issued within minutes and can help you develop and launch a secure website quickly. Need extra reassurance? The RapidSSL Basic DV Certificates also offer a $10,000 guarantee, which is insurance for end users against any money lost during a payment transaction on an SSL-secured site.
RapidSSL Wildcard DV – The mid-range option offers secure unlimited subdomains with strong encryption. This option proves to be the most cost-effective way to secure multiple domains and also issues in minutes and a $10,000 guarantee.
GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium – Certainly the most robust of the SSL Certification options, these certificates provide comprehensive authentication procedures (domain name and identity verification) with a high warranty. This option is perfect for securing a professional domain. Although it requires 1 – 2 hours to issue, it offers a whopping $500,000 guarantee.
Important Updates to No-IP’s SSL Certificate Product:
As of February 2023, No-IP moved from TrustCor to DigiCert SSL Certificates and replaced the SSL Certificates of all current users. These replacement SSL certificates are set to the same validity date (Expiration Date) as their former TrustCor SSL certificates and with several improvements to SSL flows.
In addition, we are no longer offering free SSL Certificates to our free Dynamic DNS users. But do not fret! If you had a TrustCor Standard SSL and are a free user, No-IP is giving you an Encryption Everywhere replacement certificate as a one-time offer.
Do you already have a free No-IP account and are interested in an SSL?
Well, you’re in luck – Upgrading to the Enhanced Dynamic DNS, which includes one free SSL Certificate, costs as low as $19.99/year and can be done within a few clicks through your account page. This would be the same price as purchasing a DigiCert RapidSSL Certificate.
Want to know more about SSL Certificates or have any more questions? Our Customer Success Knowledge base has a robust list of guides and articles.