What Is SSL Certificate?

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The incidents of identity theft, password stealing, malware installation and ransomware attacks are constantly rising. Such kinds of security breaches have a common attack vector which is social engineering. The techniques of social engineering trick you to click on nasty links and reveal personal information. This is a common mistake done by the internet users, yet it can be taken care of if you are aware of what is SSL certificate.

SSL certificate is tiny files of data which are bind digitally by a cryptographic key to the information of an organization. A secure connection is established between the web browser and web server using SSL. The website address gets changed from HTTP to HTTPS, here ‘S’ stands for secure. SSL certificates bind together domain name, server name or hostname and an organizational identity and location.

It is usually used to provide security during credit card transactions, logins, data transfer and to secure browsing of the social media sites. For a secure session with the browsers, it is important for an organization to install the SSL certificate on its web servers. The secure connection will encrypt all the web traffic between the web server and the browser.

Purposes of SSL certificate

All your sensitive information that travels across the global networks and the security of the internet is protected through SSL certificate. It has great significance for providing protection to a website regardless if it uses sensitive information like credit cards. The certificate protects privacy, data integrity, and critical security.

Encrypts Information

The major reason behind the use of an SSL certificate is the encryption of the data sent across the internet which is only understood by the intended recipient. As the information is passed on the internet from one computer to another to reach the destination server thus SSL certificate is important.

The sensitive information such as credit card numbers, usernames and passwords are easily viewable to hackers and data snoopers if it’s not encrypted with the SSL certificate. When you start using an SSL certificate the data turns into unreadable form except for the server that you send your information. This means your data is now saved from hackers and identity thieves.

Provides Authentication

The SSL certificate not only encrypts but also provides authentication which means that you are sure about the receiver of the information i.e. the right server and not to someone illegitimate who might try to steal your data.

The internet is an interconnected network which means when you send your information, it passes through numerous computers. Anyone of the computer can impersonate your website and trick your users to send them the personal information. The only way to avoid such situation is to use a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and purchase an SSL certificate from a reliable source.

An SSL certificate is given to a verified company which has cleared numerous identity checks. SSL certificate such as EV SSL certificates requires more validation than others.

Builds Trust

For representing a secured connection, browsers show visual cues like a green lock icon on URL bar. The users show more trust in a website when they visit a secure website. A trust seal is also provided by the SSL providers which signal the users of higher trust.

Protection from the phishing attacks is also possible with https. Phishing emails contain a link to a fake website. For Cybercriminals, it is not easy to get an SSL certificate so they might use the man in the middle attack by using your own domain name because they are unable to impersonate your site perfectly.

However, SSL certificate indications allow the users to put trust on the website by looking for the signs such as green address bar and hence they won’t fall for a phishing attack. SSL certificate keeps the data between the secure servers, improves the Google rankings for the websites and betters conversion rates.

How SSL Certificate Works?

When a server tries to connect to a website with the secured SSL, the browser requests the web server for identity. Hence, the web server sends the browser a copy of the SSL certificate. The browser checks the SSL certificate for whether it can be trusted or not. It then sends the message to the web server. A digitally signed acknowledgment is sent back by the web server to begin an SSL encrypted secured session. This way encrypted data is shared between the web server and the browser.

Conclusion

Secure Sockets Layer i.e. SSL is a global standard security technology which allows encrypted communication between the browser and the web server. Use by millions of individuals and online business, SSL decreases the threat to private data from being stolen or exploited by the hackers and identity thieves.

SSL allows a secure conversation between two intended parties and it is thus important for all the websites to use SSL. It not only helps you to protect your customers but also helps the users to gain the trust of the customers.

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