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Jason Parms

Many Myths about TLS/SSL are prevailing among users, site owners, and in this article, we will focus on such myths that keep you away from purchasing a TLS or SSL certificate.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a security protocol created to secure the website, blog, forum, etc.

With the use of the TLS certificate, we can remain one step ahead of cyber culprits. Customers’ privacy is on the top nowadays for every organization, and it should not be compromised in any way. The use of TLS certificates is increasing for the last few years. Still, many myths are prevailing in the users’ minds. Such myths raise a question about the potential of TLS certificates and make users pessimistic. We have enumerated a few myths about TLS and tried to remove the chaos about TLS protocol.

TLS Myths & Misconceptions

HTTPS site is Slow

Users still believe that the HTTPS site takes more time to load than the non-secure HTTP version. Earlier, there were TCP level round trips required to create an HTTPS connection. During the handshake, few extra bytes are sent and received that increase the site’s loading speed.

However, with the arrival of HTTP/2, the slow loading of a website is solved. HTTP/2 is an extended version of the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDY) protocol, which was created to solve the performance issue of HTTP/1.1. By that time, the global internet community then introduced HTTP/2, which improves page load speed.

The benefits of HTTP/2 include Multiplexing, Header compression, Server Push, Stream priority. Most browsers (Safari, Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer) are in opinion to support only HTTP/2 over TLS, which means encryption has now become obligatory.

What HTTP/2 Offers?

HTTP/2 improves website speed by offering HTTP headers to be sent in compression mode, reducing the volume of information exchanged between the client and the server. In the older version, HTTP/1.1 did not provide header compression.

HTTP/2 offers multiplexing that includes all requests on a single TCP connection, while in the older version, each request was land on a separate TCP connection.

Server Push is another feature that HTTP/2 offers, which removes site latency. The server can send requirements of style.css and script.js without waiting for a request from the client. It saves time in requesting and the arrival of these two files to the client. Thus, unnecessary round trips can be reduced, resulting in faster page loading.

HTTP/2 offers Stream Priority that browsers require, which means HTTP/2 identifies the assets that a browser wants to receive first. For example, it loads assets in a hierarchy like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image assets.

TLS is Pricey

Security awareness and stiff competition have pushed the usage of TLS protocol. TLS certificates are available easily at few bucks. If you search, you will find many cheap SSL certificate options that could secure your website easily.

Multiple options are there in the SSL industry that can suit small businesses to large businesses. You can either go with domain validation, business validation, or an extended validation certificate that can fit your budget and website’s requirement.

TLS required a unique IP address

The unique IP address was required before the arrival of the SNI (server name indication) feature. With SNI, a site holder can install as many TLS certificates as possible on multiple servers without requiring a unique IP address. The reason to do so is the cost of an IP address and its management for every IP address. SNI removes this hurdle and allows a single IP address for multiple domains. If you are thinking of the cost of purchasing IP addresses, then forget about the higher price. Just a single IP address can handle all subdomains and domains.

TLS Only for the Login page

Many of you have confusion that HTTPS is only for the login page or checkout page because customers pay the payment or enter credentials on such pages. But it is entirely wrong as HTTPS is for the whole website, either an image, video, or any other script. A developer should redirect all HTTP links to HTTPS-a secure version that keeps away cyber culprits from ongoing transactions. Another reason is session hijacking. Yes, you have heard, right.

An unencrypted page, whenever accessed over a public Wi-Fi, a hacker can act as a Man-in-middle and capture all passing information. So, it is necessary to have all pages running on HTTPS instead of the HTTP version.

TLS Management is Difficult

TLS certificate offers simple certificate management that can manage easy renewal, unlimited reissue, expiry reminder, and much more. All these activities can be easily managed with a single account with your SSL provider. Moreover, many providers send a renewal reminder before 30 or 60 days of certificate expiry.

The purchase process is also quite simple, which is divided into four steps: purchase desired certificate, CSR generation on the server, complete the certificate configuration process, complete domain validation, and get the certificate. Once you get the certificate, install it on the server. In the case of organization and extended validation, you need to provide the required business-related documents.

TLS Stops Cyber Attacks

Many of you have the wrong assumption that TLS stops attacks, which is a myth. TLS/SSL only encrypts the ongoing information between the client and the server. If the MySQL server’s database has a weak or unencrypted password, and the attacker tries to hack the database, TLS cannot stop an attack in such a situation. To avoid this situation, an organization can purchase the premium version of penetration testing, antivirus scanner, and vulnerability scanner to notify a site owner about any suspicious activities.

All Types of TLS Certificates are the Same

There is a myth prevailing about the selection of TLS or SSL certificates. People still believe that a single SSL certificate type can fulfill all kinds of site requirements. In other words, all TLS certificates are the same. But it is not well-grounded. Each certificate is made with keeping different website requirements. For example, a standard or single domain certificate is made to secure a single domain, whereas multi-domain SSL is there to secure multiple domains. If you want to secure unlimited subdomains of the main domain, then a wildcard SSL can do a good job.

The TLS certificate can be issued based on domain, organization, and extended validation.

Domain validation is a basic level of validation where no paperwork is required. In contrast, organization and extended validation require thorough verification of business-related documents, third-party business directory for confirmation of details, verified phone number, valid business address, etc.

Website Redirection

HTTPS indeed secures the website, but a site holder or developer should ensure that all URLs, including image, video, JavaScript, CSS, and other pages, are running on HTTPS. If there is any page is running on HTTP then, it can cause a mixed content warning. In that case, all URLs running on insecure HTTP should be redirected to the secured HTTPS version. Even Google search engines will crawl the website and considered it a different website.

Conclusion

After going through the above myths about TLS/SSL protocol, it is now clear that TLS is a valuable protocol that secures the communication between the client and the server. TLS, also preferred by Google and other browsers, and help boost the search ranking. If you want to go with a cheap certificate option, you can go with the best-discounted offers and find the correct SSL certificate with different features.