What Happens if you Forget to Renew SSL Certificate?

A SSL (secure socket layer) certificate helps make Internet surfing safer by facilitating data encryption as it flows across the Web. SSL certificates are predominantly used on e-commerce and banking websites, which collect personal or financial data. While navigating a site, your web browser may warn that the website’s SSL certificate has expired. If you own the site, an expired SSL cert can be easily renewed.

SSL Certificates and Web Browsers

  • SSL certificates are of high importance because they assure Internet surfers that the websites they are communicating with are legitimate.
  • Website owners buy SSL certificates from enterprises called Certificate Authorities(CA). A CA, such as Comodo, first verifies the website owner’s identity and then, issues an SSL certificate, containing a digital key, to the owner.
  • When a browser accesses the website, the web browser, and server exchange keys, allowing encrypted data transmission. Your browser also verifies that the SSL cert is updated; if it has expired, the web browser alerts the user through a warning message.

Loss of Website Traffic

  • Experts from various computer security companies have described the scenario that often occurs when Internet surfers see warning messages set off by expired SSL certificates.
  • A recent survey found that nearly 90 percent of users who came across a warning message immediately terminated any transactions in progress at the time.
  • Nearly 72 percent of users will stop using the website and purchase from a competitor’s website instead, the survey found.
  • Many users who do not have familiarity with the working of SSL certificates may assume that your site is harmful.

Security Issues

  • If your SSL cert is on the verge of expiry, the CA that issued it will make frequent contacts with you reminding you to renew the SSL certificate.
  • Furthermore, you will lose a character in the market, the trust of your customers, and even customers.
  • New visitors will not trust your website resulting in losing potential customers that translates into lesser sales.
  • The absence of an SSL cert paves way for unethical practices such as account hacking and identity thefts.

Following Are Some Tips on Prevention Accounts

  • Keep an eye on mail: Check your mail regularly, as your certificate authority will be constantly reminding you about the renewal a few days before it expires.
  • Buy from a trusted provider: Always read the reviews, policies, terms, and conditions, full support, and other relevant details of your CA before buying the SSL cert.
  • Express your concern: Renew SSL certificate on or before the time and let your customers know your seriousness and concern towards the business and its security.
  • Go for early renewal: Most providers allow you to renew SSL without giving up the existing validity. You can renew SSL before time and even receive bonus days on your order ensuring you do not lose any validity. Usually, renewal bonuses are available only for SSL Certificate products. Do not forget to ask your SSL cert vendor regarding renewal offers.
  • Contact the certificate authority to learn how to do this. Once you renew an SSL certificate, browsers will stop displaying the warning message about an expired SSL cert.
  • Shop protected and smart: Always buy SSL certificates from a CA certified vendor. CA functions as the main center that issues digital certificates.