New SSL Certificates now have a Maximum 1-Year Duration

New SSL Certificates now have a Maximum 1-Year Duration

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Effective August 1, in order to increase the security and reliability of certificates, new or renewed SSL certificates now have a maximum duration of 1 year. If you have an upcoming SSL renewal for 2+ years, we’ve automatically changed its billing cycle to 1 year for you.

Let’s take a closer look at why these changes have happened and how they might impact you.

First, what’s an SSL or TLS certificate?

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates make your website more secure by encrypting data sent between your website and its visitors. They also help increase trust (and sales!) by displaying a small security lock in your browser’s address bar. Websites that don’t use SSL certificates will often display a small insecure warning in the browser’s address bar, which is likely to impact your visitors’ trust in your website.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) represents a newer encryption standard that has replaced SSL for some time now; however, the term SSL is still widely used in the industry today, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Public SSL/TLS certificates are used on public websites, and need to be signed by a trusted third party (such as Comodo, Sectigo or Digicert) which is recognized by modern web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari. This process ensures that the website being displayed is actually the one that’s meant to appear, rather than one being shown by an impostor.

Since 2019, WHC offers cPanel’s free AutoSSL service for most of its web hosting and Cloud services, allowing all its users to automatically benefit from basic SSL security across all their websites. Of course, for increased trust, warranty, installation and configuration assistance, premium SSL certificates continue to be your best bet; the change being discussed in this article only impacts premium SSL certificates.

Why are Premium SSL certificates being limited to 1 year?

Earlier this summer, Apple and Google announced that TLS/SSL Certificates trusted by their browsers (notably Google Chrome and Safari) will be limited to a lifespan of 13 months. As such, 398 days will be the new maximum lifespan of publicly trusted TLS certificates, approximately halving the previous limit of 825 days. The new rules will apply to all public certificates issued on or after September 1st 2020, meaning those issued beforehand may still have a lifespan of up to two years.

Limiting the lifespan of SSL certificates to one year is more secure and encourages better practices from the Certificate Authority down to the end user. It also gives supercomputers less time to crack the encryption algorithm used to secure your content.

What do I need to do and what does this mean for me?

We’ve already made all the changes on our end so that no additional action is required on your part.

If you have a two year premium SSL certificate which was issued before August 30th 2020, your multi-year certificate will continue to work as expected.

If you are looking to buy or renew a certificate after August 30th, you’ll be limited to a maximum certificate duration of 1 year. If you previously had a 2 or 3-year SSL service subscription with WHC, it will automatically be switched to 1 year come renewal time.

If you are using our free AutoSSL service, you will not be impacted. These certificates are already renewed automatically for you every 90 days, so long as your services are active.

Ultimately these changes will mean that your websites and its visitors will be safer and less likely to experience security issues, and that the Internet will continue to be a safer space for all of us to enjoy!

Should you have any questions about your website’s security, please feel free to reach out to our friendly customer service team. We’re here to help!

About the author: Alex Tucker

Alex is a writer and digital marketer operating out of Ontario, Canada. He's passionate about health and wellness, self defense, and creating WordPress websites.

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