Secure Sockets Layers
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) was the most widely deployed cryptographic protocol to provide security over internet communications before it was succeeded by TLS (Transport Layer Security) in 1999. Despite the deprecation of the SSL protocol and the adoption of TLS in its place, most people still refer to this type of technology as ‘SSL’.
SSL provides a secure channel between two machines or devices operating over the internet or an internal network. One common example is when SSL is used to secure communication between a web browser and a web server. This turns a website’s address from HTTP to HTTPS, the ‘S’ standing for ‘secure’.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.
How Does an SSL Certificate Work?
SSL Certificates use something called public key cryptography.
This particular kind of cryptography harnesses the power of two keys which are long strings of randomly generated numbers. One is called a private key and one is called a public key. A public key is known to your server and available in the public domain. It can be used to encrypt any message.
If we look at this in terms of a website, the communication is happening between a website and a server.
Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates protect your sensitive information such as credit card information, usernames, passwords etc. They also:
· Keep data secure between servers
· Increase your Google Rankings
· Build/Enhance customer trust
· Improve conversion rates