You must ensure that your visitors trust that their information will not be misused when they interact with your website, including sharing key details such as credit card numbers. It is your responsibility to protect all visitors to your website by providing comprehensive protection. The purpose of this article is to provide a Simple Guide to Manually Renewing an SSL Certificate to ensure that it meets the latest security standards.
If you fail to comply with this commitment, you will not only lose customer loyalty, but you may also find yourself in legal trouble. Often, websites that fail to protect customer data from leaks, theft, or misuse are forced to pay heavy fines and lose their reputations.
How do SSL certificates protect customer data?
One of the most effective ways to protect sensitive customer information is to secure your site with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. In non-technical terms, an SSL certificate encrypts the communication between a web server and a visitor’s browser, making it technically impossible for hackers or threat actors to steal data in transit. SSL establishes a secure handshake process to decrypt encrypted information that is too complex for humans or even software to crack. (LCTT Note: This is an exaggeration. The information transmitted by SSL encryption is not absolutely impossible to intercept and crack, such as man-in-the-middle attacks.)
Why do I need to renew my SSL certificate?
While an SSL certificate provides security against data theft or misuse, you need to update it regularly to ensure the most effective security against the latest threats. This article will list step-by-step instructions for updating an SSL certificate the correct way.
There are many benefits to renewing an SSL certificate:
- Keep up to date to verify your website’s identity.
- Get updated security.
- The one-year validity period promotes the healthy practice of regularly updating/upgrading the scope of protection, thereby eliminating the risks associated with outdated versions.
Note: It’s a wise practice to choose an automatic renewal method to relieve you of the stress of remembering the renewal date or manually following the steps involved.
SSL certificate creation based on pure open source
Yes, it is absolutely true! By following a few simple and compact steps, you can actually build your own SSL certificate from scratch! While the entire process is beyond the scope of this article, here are some key open-source components and tools that can be used to create SSL certificates.
- OpenSSL: This is a highly trusted tool for implementing TLS and cryptographic libraries.
- EasyRSA: This command line tool enables you to build a PKI CA and manage it efficiently.
- CFSSL: Cloudflare has finally built a versatile, versatile tool for PKI and TLS.
- Lemur: Nice TLS generator developed by Netflix.
How to renew your SSL certificate
While the general process for SSL updates remains the same, there may be some minor tweaks and changes depending on your specific SSL provider.
The update process follows three main steps: CSR (Certificate Signing Request) generation, certificate activation, and finally certificate installation.
(1) Generate CSR: For cPanel hosting panel, you can click on the “Security” tab and search for SSL/TLS option. It will display a page with a link below the CSR option. This can help you generate a new CSR for the desired domain name.
You will be asked for your contact details to confirm that you are the real domain owner. After filling out the form, you will get the CSR code required for certificate reactivation.
(2) Activate SSL certificates: In your dashboard, you can quickly view owned SSL certificates, domains, and other digital infrastructure products. Click this button to start the SSL renewal process. Enter the previously generated CSR to confirm the accuracy of the information. You can now verify the SSL renewal process.
(3) Verify SSL certificate: You will be prompted again to confirm domain ownership – enter the email associated with the domain; upload a file on the web server where the certificate needs to be installed; verify the SSL certificate with the help of a CNAME record and more. While there are several options, the fastest and easiest way is to check via email. After entering the email associated with the domain, you will receive an email with a specific link, followed by another with a new certificate file with a .crt extension.
(4) Install the SSL certificate: Your hosting provider will provide you with a way to communicate with the support team to install the update file, or provide you with detailed instructions on how to do this manually through cPanel. Keep in mind that different hosts offer different renewal methods. That said, if you’re a non-technical person, then contacting the support team would be your best option.
For manual updates, visit cPanel’s SSL/TLS page and find the Manage SSL Sites option. It contains the entire list of domains you own. For each domain name, you can see certificate renewal options.
On the next page, use the “Autofill by Domain” option to enter the details of the “Private Key”. Under the “Certificates” option, fill in the details of your .crt file. One step left to finish. Just click the button that says “Install Certificate”.
In addition to saving users’ critical data and sensitive information, SSL certificates also build trust by reaffirming that the data shared on your website is secure. Since Google considers SSL certification a healthy practice, it will also have a positive impact on your SEO. However, to continue to enjoy the enhanced security of this certificate, you need to renew it regularly. This ensures that your website is fully protected against attacks in data transmission in accordance with the latest security requirements.