What are TLS Certificates?

What Exactly are TLS Certificates?

The use of the internet is almost inevitable nowadays due to the vast change in technology. Increased internet use has brought about issues of digital spying and cyber crime. Connecting to the internet anywhere can grant others access to our transaction details or emails. A message sent using a computer goes through several different computers before it reaches the recipient, implying that others can access the message using those computers. It is, therefore, essential to secure the internet we use by the use of public or private keys granted to us by TLS certificates.

What are TLS certificates?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates, a public key certificates issued by certificate authorities that validate public key ownership.

Once messages are encrypted, only the recipient can decipher the message using a private key. Furthermore, encrypted messages are not accessible to the multiple computers they pass through, ensuring that sensitive information is protected.

TLS is an updated cryptographic protocol of Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Both TLS and SSL certificates authenticate ownership of public keys to secure data transferred between a web user and a server. The differences between the two are minor, but TLS is more secure than SSL. The certificates contain information such as the public key, date of issue and expiry, name of the subject domain, and name of the certificate authority issuing the certification.

SSL certificates are of different types to suit the different kinds of internet users. Some of the types are; Domain Validation (DV), Extended Validation (EV), Wildcards, Unified Communications (UC), and Subject Alternative Name (SAN).

More information on certificate type is available here https://www.sslcertificate.ch/ssl-certificates/

Certificate authorities.

Certificate authorities are organizations that bind cryptographic keys to certified entities like websites, companies, or emails by issuing digital certificates known as TLS or SSL certificates.

the most recognised trusted certificate authorities are Digicert, Thawte, Geotrust and sectigo.

  • Digicert SSL with it secure site pro range has the most robust and secure ssl certificates with EEC encryption and recommended for financial institutions and government.
  • Thawte SSL is one of the oldest certificate authority organizations globally, founded in South Africa. It is famous for issuing X.509 certificates, the HTTPS-based browser web protocols.
  • Sectigo SSL previously Comodo SSL offers is the second largest supplier after Digicert and offers multiple range of certificates.
  • Geotrust offers certificates ranging from DV SSL to EV SSL

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