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Have you ever run into any security certificate warnings- “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate”? A warning dialog is displayed when people try to access a site with a questionable security certificate or even if the certificate has expired. A warning page generally pops up informing them that the site is not secure, and any data shared may be susceptible to interception.  You can choose to ignore the warning and proceed, but you must be aware that full security cannot be guaranteed. Ideally you should take proper steps necessary to renew a website security certificate before it expires so that potential customers do not ever see this warning when visiting your site.

Why Security Certificates Matter

Most websites from ecommerce websites to blogs and social media sites use SSL/TSL certificates as cryptographic protocols to provide a secure connection to the server. Security certificates address vulnerabilities and support robust cipher suites and algorithms for stronger data encryption between servers, machines and applications connected over a network.

Website owners have to pay a third-party called a Certificate Authority (CA) to confirm and match its identity with a specific domain owner at its most basic level, which is referred to as a Domain Validated Certificate. For higher levels of security that verify domain ownership and other information about the website owner’s legal identity, such as company name, physical address, and registration, etc, there is the Organization Validated and the Extended Validated Certificates.

The website proves its legitimacy to your Internet browser by showing a security certificate, which is indicated by the lock symbol. When the URL of your site starts with an “https://” instead of just https://, it indicates that the website is protected by Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security. A valid SSL/TLS certificate assures your customers that they can safely browse or transact business with you on your site without worrying about security risks, like man-in-the-middle attack.

Moreover, security certificates are an absolute necessity now because Google algorithms for the search engine look for and rank sites with a security layer higher in search results. Google wants to make sure that the sites it lists on the results pages are secure, which ensures repeat traffic, movement and a big boost up in the organic search engine rankings for your business.

Why You Need to Renew A Security Certificate

A security certificate can be purchased for 1 year, 2 years or 3 years validity. SSL certificates will not auto-renew by default so you must manually renew them within your panel. SSL certificate providers generally send an expiration/renewal reminder to the primary admin address anywhere from 30days to 90 days from expiry so that you can take appropriate action to renew a current SSL certificate.

An expired SSL certificate is the same as not having an SSL certificate installed at all! Since “Prevention is better than cure” be sure that you take the proper steps necessary to prevent the nightmare scenario of your certificate expiring.

Check your email regarding the renewal before some days of expiration. Purchase the SSL certificate from a trusted and relevant CA certified vendor. Check the reviews, terms and conditions and round the clock support of your provider.

The renewal process is pretty easy and can take a couple of weeks, depending on the type of certificate you apply for. You can renew your SSL certificate on or before time, without losing any existing validity: So, don’t leave your renewal application to the last minute!

Secure Your Website

All digital certificates should be renewed at the end of their lifecycle to avoid service disruption and security concerns among your customers. cPanel has recently added the fully automated ‘AutoSSL’ feature for its web hosting partner websites, which removes guesswork from SSL configuration, installation and renewal to improve efficiency. AutoSSL offers 90-day certificates available to all cPanel web hosting accounts and those running WHM version 60 or later that are automatically renewed when they expire. But it only includes domains and subdomains that need to pass a Domain Control Validation (DCV) as proof of ownership of the domain. HostLabs offers free dedicated  SSL certificate  and dedicated IP’s  with all Business Host Plans or you can get a Dedicated SSL certificate on your account.