SSL certificate is a digital certificate that validates a website’s identity and allows an encrypted connection. Which stands for Secure Sockets Layer. A security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a web browser and a web server.
Companies and organizations need to add SSL certificates to their websites to protect online transactions and keep customer details private and secure.
In short: SSL keeps internet connections protected and prevents criminals from reading or modifying information transferred between 2 systems. When you see a padlock logo next to the URL in the address bar, that means SSL secures the website you are visiting.
Since its beginning about 24 years ago, there have been some versions of SSL protocol, all of which at some point ran into security troubles. A revamped and renamed version followed — TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is still in use today. However, the initials SSL stuck, so the new version of the protocol is still called by the old name.
Why we need an SSL certificate
Websites need SSL certificates to keep information secure, verify ownership of the website, protect attackers from building a fake version of the site, and convey trust to users.
If a website is asking users to sign in, enter personal information such as their credit card details, or view confidential data such as health benefits or financial information, then it is essential to keep the information confidential. SSL certificates help keep online interactions confidential and assure users that the website is authentic and safe to share confidential information with.
More related to businesses is the fact that an SSL certificate is needed for an HTTPS web address. HTTPS is a secure form of HTTP, which means that HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted by an SSL certificate. Most browsers tag HTTP sites – those without SSL certificates – as “not safe.” This sends a clear signal to users that the site may not be safe – incentivizing businesses who have not done so to migrate to HTTPS.
An SSL certificate helps to secure data such as:
- Credit card transactions or bank account information
- Login credentials
- Personally identifiable information — such as full name, address, date of birth, or telephone number
- Legal documents and contracts
- Medical records
- Proprietary information
How do SSL certificates work?
SSL works by ensuring that any information transferred between users and websites, or between 2 systems, remains impossible to read. It uses encryption algorithms to scramble information in transit, which protects hackers from reading it as it is sent over the connection. This information includes potentially sensitive information such as names, addresses, credit card details, or other financial details.
The process works like this:
- A browser or server attempts to connect to a web server safely with SSL.
- The browser or server requests that the web server details itself.
- The web server sends the browser or web server a copy of its SSL certificate in the response.
- The browser or server checks to see whether it is safe the SSL certificate. If it does, it signals this to the server.
- The web server then responds with a digitally signed acknowledgment to start an SSL encrypted session.
- The encrypted information is shared between the browser or server and the web server.
When a website is safe by an SSL certificate, the acronym HTTPS (which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) appears in the URL. Without an SSL certificate, the letters HTTP – without the S for Secure – will appear. A padlock icon will also show in the URL address bar. This signals trust and gives reassurance to those visiting the website.
Through this blog, You will get the basic knowledge about SSL certificates, and also explore the use cases of SSL certificates, etc.