Symantec has launched Encryption Everywhere program that will offer free basic SSL/TLS certificates to domain owners. The program will only be offered through hosting companies that end up participating in the program. Symantec has been working hard to get web hosting providers to sign up and has already formed partnerships with providers like InterNetX, CertCenter, Hostpoint etc. The certificate will offer free basic SSL for up to one year and upgrade option will be available to enable extended validation (EV) or wildcard certificates that would allow the domain owner to host multiple websites under single SSL.
Symantec has grown to become one of the largest SSL providers after it acquired Verisign in 2012. Based on their analysis only 3 percent of the active domains utilize SSL certificate and they want to change this with Encryption Everywhere program. Symantec has said that they have been working on this program for years but it seems the program was released in direct response to Let’s Encrypt which recently announced that they are protecting 2.4 million domains with their free SSL certificate.
Opponents of free SSL program state that it ends up attracting criminals who are able to use free SSL option for illegal activities such a setting up phishing websites to collect login information. However, SSL everywhere sets a standard that will end up protecting millions especially offering privacy when browsing content online. Not every website owner is technical savvy to setup a SSL and by making it easier, the site owners can offer protection to their website visitors.