Everything You Need to Know about the SSL certificate

SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity and able an encrypted connection. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser is the appropriate answer to the all-time favorite question of what is SSL certificate. Among all internet users.

Companies and organizations must add SSL certificates to their websites to secure online transactions and keep customer information private and secure.

To summarise, SSL keeps internet connections secure and prevents criminals from reading or modifying information transferred between two systems. When you see a lock symbol next to the URL in the address bar, the website you are viewing is protected by SSL.

Since its invention about 25 years ago, there have been several versions of SSL protocol, all of which ran into security troubles at some point. TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is still in use today, is an advanced and renamed version followed. However, the initials SSL are stuck, so the new protocol version is usually called by its old name.

How does an SSL certificate work?

It works by ensuring that any data transferred between users and websites or between two systems remains impossible to read. It uses encryption algorithms to scramble data in transition, which prevents hackers from reading it as it is sent over the connection. This data includes sensitive information such as names, addresses, and financial details.

The procedure works like this:

  • A browser makes an attempt to connect to an SSL-protected website.
  • The browser requests the identity of the web server. In response, the web server provides the browser with a copy of its SSL certificate.
  • The browser verifies the SSL certificate’s credibility. If this occurs, the component notifies the web server. The web server returns a digitally signed acknowledgment to begin an SSL-encrypted session.
  • The web server and browser exchange encrypted data.

This process is referred to as an “SSL handshake.” While it sounds like a lengthy process, it usually takes place in milliseconds. When an SSL certificate secures a website, the acronym HTTPS appears in the URL. Only the letters HTTP will be seen in the absence of an SSL certificate. The URL address bar will also show a padlock symbol. This signals trust and provides reassurance to the visitors of the website.

Why SSL certificate is mandatory? 

Websites need SSL certificates to keep user data safe, verify website ownership, prevent attackers from creating a false site version, and convey trust to users.

Suppose a website asks users to sign in, enter personal details such as their credit card numbers, or view personal information such as health benefits or financial information. In that case, it is crucial l to keep the data confidential. SSL certificates help keep online interactions private and assure users that the website is authentic and secure to share private information with.

More relevant to businesses is that an SSL certificate is mandatory for an HTTPS web address. HTTPS is a secure form of HTTP, meaning that HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted. Most browsers tag HTTP sites without SSL certificates as “not safe.” This communicates to users that the site may not be trustworthy, encouraging companies who have not yet migrated to HTTPS to do so.