Nov 05 2010

What is an SSL certificate?

Category: Computers & Internet


SSL is an acronym that stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a digital certificate originally created by Netscape to guarantee safe and protected transactions between consumers and retailers (web servers & browsers). SSL utilizes a third party certificate to identify both sides of a transaction to ensure legitimacy. This identification process requires encrypting any data transmissions and then deciphering the data it with the proper key on the other end.

A secure certificate will typically carry this important information:

  • The name of the online business
  • The expiration of the certificate
  • A secure key used for encryption
  • The third party issuer of the certificate

When you visit a secure web page you will typically see https:// in the URL field and, depending on the browser, some type of symbol or color indicating a secure connection. This basically lets you know that the web site presenting the SSL certificate is secure. This secure form should give visitors piece of mind. They’ll know that the personal information they are sending is going to the right place. All major online businesses use SSL security to encourage customers to buy online and to trust that their personal information is secure.

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