What is an SSL certificate?

SSL in an acronym for “Secure Sockets Layer”. A SSL certificate is a file that is installed on a web server that allows, among other things:

  • The authentication of the server by the Certification Authority (Sectigo).
  • Secure transmission and validated integrity of data sent between the website’s visitor and the server.

When you choose to activate a SSL certificate on your server, you must answer a series of questions to prove the identity of your website and that of your company. Your web server will then create 2 encrypted digital keys: one public, and one private.

How does it work?

The private key (the .key file) remains secret. You must not give it to anyone.

The public key is provided in what is called a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) which is a series of characters that contain your public key information. This CSR (.csr file) will be created by you during the process of generating your Gandi certificate. Public keys do not need to be kept secret, in fact, they are designed to be publicly shared.

Gandi (and/or Sectigo depending on the type of certificate you purchase) will, after performing the necessary checks, validate your certificate with web browsers, which will thereafter recognize your certificate and establish an encrypted connection between the service hosted on the server (mail, website, etc.) and the computer running the web browser.

HTTPS is the protocol that supports these security measures. On the Internet, you browse non-secure websites with HTTP and secure websites with the HTTPS protocol.

For SSL certificates provided through Gandi, Sectigo provides the root certificate. This root certificate proves the trustworthiness of the certification authority (CA) which issued your certificate.

Who needs it and why?

  • Business Users, Emails users, every-day users.
  • Protect sensitive information like accounts, emails, credit cards, from being stolen.
  • Increase your ranking position by making your website trustworthy to search engines like Google.
  • Make your website more valuable for customers by showing them your website is secured.