What is an SSL Certificate?

A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, when installed, encrypts information and transactions to securely transfer it from browser to web server safely.  They work by using a cryptographic system where two keys bind to the data, padlocking it.  The first key is a private key that only the recipient knows.  The second key is a public one that everyone knows.

Think of the city police moving your money from one location to another where only the delivery location can open the package.  It’s for this reason  SSLs are most commonly used in eCommerce credit card transactions, data transfers and logins.

SSL Certificates bind a domain name, server or hostname with an organization’s name, i.e. company name and location.  This creates a unique identity for the specific certificate.

To activate SSL, a company or individual needs to install the certificate on their web server before secure transactions can take place.  After the certificate has been installed, the traffic between server and browser will be secure.  You can identify SSL secure websites through their domain, HTTP will become HTTPs.  The “S” stands for secure.

 

Showing an example of a site protected with an SSL

 

 


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