A self-signed certificate and a CA-signed certificate are both used for HTTPS/SSL/TLS encryption. But what’s the difference? And which should you use? In this article, we’ll look at the SSL/TLS protocol and how to use self-signed and CA-signed certificates for encryption.
What is SSL/TLS, and Why Do We Need It?
SSL/TLS is a protocol that provides communication security over the internet. It’s the protocol used to encrypt traffic between your website and your visitors’ web browsers. SSL/TLS is important because it helps to keep your website and your visitors’ data safe from eavesdroppers. When SSL/TLS is used, the data sent between your website and a visitor’s web browser is encrypted. This makes it difficult for anyone listening in on the traffic to understand what’s being said.
SSL/TLS uses an asymmetric key algorithm, which uses two different keys – a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt data, and the private key is used to decrypt it. The asymmetric key algorithm makes SSL/TLS more secure than other types of encryption.
How Does the Protocol Work?
When visitors come to your website, their web browser will request your SSL/TLS certificate. This certificate contains your public key. Once the browser has your public key, it will generate a session key – this is a one-time use key that will be used to encrypt all communications between the browser and your website during that session.
Then, the browser will send the session key to your website. Once your website has the session key, it can encrypt all data sent to the visitor’s web browser. The data is encrypted with the session key, and then the session key is encrypted with your public key. This double encryption makes it very difficult for anyone who’s listening.
Types of Certificates – Self Signed vs. CA Signed
SSL certificates are used to encrypt traffic between a website and a web browser. There are two primary SSL/TLS certificates – self-signed and CA-signed. A self-signed certificate is generated by you, the website owner. A CA-signed certificate is one that’s been generated by a Certificate Authority.
Which One Should You Choose for Your Business?
The type of SSL/TLS certificate you choose will depend on your business needs. If you’re starting out, a self-signed certificate may be sufficient. But if you’re looking to establish your website as a trusted source of information, you’ll need a CA-signed certificate.
Pros and Cons of Each Type
Self-signed certificates are less expensive and easier to set up. But because a trusted authority does not issue them, they’re not as trustworthy as CA-signed certificates. A self-signed certificate may be acceptable for a personal website or a test site. But if you’re running a business, you’ll need a CA-signed certificate.
CA-signed certificates are more expensive and require more work to set up. But because a trusted authority issues them, they’re more trustworthy and offer better encryption. CA-signed certificates are suitable for businesses or websites that handle sensitive information.
How to Set Up SSL/TLS on Your Website
Setting up SSL/TLS is relatively simple if you’re using a self-signed certificate. You can generate a self-signed certificate using OpenSSL. But if you’re using a CA-signed certificate, the process is more complicated.
You’ll need to create a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) and submit it to a Certificate Authority. Certificate Authority will then generate a certificate for you. Once you have your certificate, you can install it on your web server.
SSL/TLS is a vital security protocol for online businesses and should be implemented as soon as possible. Setting it up is relatively simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision about which type of certificate to get. We hope this article has helped explain the basics of SSL/TLS and provided you with information about the different types of certifications available.
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