The average cost of data breaches amounted to $3.86 million in 2020. This is an alarming issue, considering that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. Technological advancements have gifted industries with faster and better business process management. On the down low, digital exposure made them a prime target of the rising cyberthreats.
This made Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate a prerequisite for every website. This authenticates your website and enables encryption of you and your users’ data. Installing an SSL certificate marks your website “Secure,” assuring visitors that it’s safe to transact on your page.
There are two ways you can get an SSL certificate: avail for a subscription or get a free plan. Now, who would choose to pay when there’s a free option? Get to know why it’s worth investing in a paid SSL certificate and the risks involved when you opt to get one for free.
There are three levels of SSL validation: Domain Validation (DV), Organisation Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV). While free SSL certificates come with no cost and are issued quickly, they are limited to DV.
DV is the least-stringent validation. It only verifies that an entity owns and manages a certain domain. It lacks OV and EV’s manual vetting process that would further inquire on a company’s background. Because it’s easy to obtain, even fraudulent sites that have admin rights to a domain can apply for DV.
SSL certificate warranty is a user’s insurance against money loss in case of payments made on SSL-secured websites. This means that if a customer unknowingly engages in a fraudulent transaction, they can claim compensation. The Certificate Authority (CA) who issued the SSL will take responsibility for the loss according to its terms and conditions.
For the website owners, the warranty covers them with a substantial amount in case something goes wrong on the CA’s end. They can use this to fix their website and pay for breach penalties incurred by cyberattacks.
A free SSL doesn’t have these guarantees. With the number of threats online, it’s crucial for visitors to choose websites that assures both data security and indemnity.
Free or non-profit SSL certificate authorities don’t offer any form of support. When tech issues and security concerns arise, website owners are left all on their own. The only option they have for solutions is to scour the internet and SSL-related forums for answers.
In comparison, paid SSL certificates comes with robust technical support from their CA. They can expect prompt assistance from a team of experts during their subscription on all available channels.
You can only use free SSL for only 30 to 90 days. This subjects you to the rigorous process of frequent renewals. On the other hand, paid SSLs usually lasts up to 27 months. You can also opt for auto-renewal, so you never have to worry about your SSL certificate expiring.
Scaling online requires only the best resources to cater to your needs. A free SSL is a good option if you’re testing digital waters with a personal blog or merely an informative business page. If you want to leverage your website for ecommerce, you need a website your customers can trust.
Win customers with a reliable website. Sure, settling for a free SSL will save you a few bucks. However, its accompanying risks carry hefty price tags. Invest in an option with lesser stakes and better protection quality for your website and your customers.