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. SSL Certificates bind together:

  • A domain name, server name or hostname.
  • An organizational identity (i.e. company name) and location.

types-of-ssl-certificatesAn organization needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure. When a certificate is successfully installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPs, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. Depending on the type of certificate you purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet on, a browser will show a padlock or green bar in the browser when you visit a website that has an SSL Certificate installed. Capture88

How SSL Works

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – is a protocol in the form of a certificate that can be installed with any hosted domain to improve the security of your website. In short, SSL is installed to the hosting server and encrypts communications. At a more advanced level, SSL certificates also include organizational validation and vetting, to provide the highest level of confidence for your website’s visitors. In order to use SSL, you must have a hosted domain. The domain host provides a special key, called a CSR (Certificate Signing Request), which is integrated within the SSL certificate to verify the correct domain and usage. The SSL certificate is then installed into the hosting server, automatically updating and securing the associated domain. images (5)

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