Everything You Need to Know about SSL Certificates - Blog

Everything You Need to Know about SSL Certificates

by Partho Sarathi

What are SSL Certificates?

SSL certificates are an essential part of internet security. They are used to create a secure connection between the user's computer and the server. SSL certificates help ensure that the user's data is safe. They prevent a third party from intercepting the messages sent over the network. This blog post will discuss SSL certificates in detail and answer some common questions. We will also provide tips on creating, monitoring, renewing, and revoking SSL certificates.

How do you generate SSL Certificates?

Certificate authorities (CAs) issue SSL certificates. Web browsers have verified and trusted these organizations to issue SSL certificates. To get an SSL certificate, you must first create a key pair using various tools such as OpenSSL or Keytool. This key pair is used to submit a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to a CA. They will then verify your identity and issue you with an SSL certificate.

How do browsers verify SSL certificates?

When a user opens a website, the browser checks the SSL certificate of that site to make sure it is valid. The browser also verifies that the Certificate Authority (CA) that issued the SSL certificate is trusted. If both these checks are successful, the browser will establish a secure connection with the website. When a user visits a website, their browser will check the SSL certificate of that site to make sure it is valid. If the certificate is not valid, the browser will show a warning message.

How do you monitor SSL certificates?

It is crucial to monitor your SSL certificates, as they can expire. Browsers restrict access to websites whose SSL certificates have expired. Our SSL monitoring service tracks the expiration dates of your SSL certificates and sends notifications via email, SMS, Slack, or Twitter before they expire. It gives you time to renew the certificate and prevents your site from becoming inaccessible.

Monitoring an SSL certificate with Pinger Man costs as low as $0.0375 per month.

How do you renew an SSL certificate?

To renew an SSL certificate, you must first generate a new CSR and submit it to a CA. They will then issue you with a new certificate. To revoke an SSL certificate, you need to contact the CA that issued it.

A valid SSL certificate has an expiry date in the future. Also, the Subject part of the SSL certificate must exactly match the website's domain name. There are two exceptions to these rules:-

  • An SSL certificate for the root domain such as acme.com also works on www.acme.com.
  • Wildcard certificates work on all first-level subdomains. For example, the certificate with the subject *.acme.com works for mail.acme.com and email.acme.com.

An SSL certificate can also include multiple Subjects. Wildcard certificates are a bit risky. If an attacker gets hold of the private key, they can impersonate even a non-existent subdomain. Using a certificate with multiple subjects is slightly safer because you must explicitly state the domains/subdomains.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand SSL certificates better. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for reading!