What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates are exceedingly small data files, which digitally bind a cryptographic key to the details of a given organization. When an SSL certificate is installed on a web server, the certificate activates the HTTPs protocol together with the padlock thus allowing secure connections from the web server to the web browser. Normally, SSLs are used to secure logins and data transfer, credit card transactions, and until recently, it is becoming a critical component when securing any social media website. These certificates bind together a
· Server name, domain name or hostname
· The identity of an organization and the location
Organizations need to install SSL certificates on their web servers so as to initiate secure sessions with the browsers. Once secure connections have been successfully established, all the web traffic between the web browser and web server will be safe and secure. When the certificate has been installed successfully on your server, the HTTP or application protocol will automatically change to HTTPs. In HTTPs stands for secure connection. A green bar or a padlock will be shown on the browser whenever you go to a website, which has an SSL certificate successfully installed.
How Does the Certificate Work?
Sometimes, the SLL certificates use what is known as public key cryptography. This kind of cryptography harnesses the power of 2 keys which are mainly long sequences of randomly generated numbers. One of the keys is referred to as a private key while the other is referred to as a public key. The public key is known to the server and is normally available in the public domain. This key can be used to encrypt any kind of message. If a person is sending a message to another, then the person can lock the message using the recipient’s public key and the only way the message is going to be decrypted by making use of the recipient public key. In case a hacker intercepts this message before the recipient reads it, then they are going to receive a cryptographic key, which they will never be able to break.
Proven Benefits of SLL Certificates
The main purpose of SLL certificates is to protect sensitive information from being intercepted or decoded by another person instead of the recipient. This is exceedingly important because the information that we send over the internet is transferred from one computer to another. Any computer in between can view your usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. When SSL is used, then this information becomes unreadable for every other person except the intended recipient. Furthermore, SLL Certificates provide authentication. This, in turn, means that one can be sure that the information that they are sending over the internet is sent direct to the server and not to an imposter. Any website could easily pretend to be your business’s website and trick the user’s into sending sensitive information. However, this can be prevented with a Public infrastructure key.
SSL certificates also provide trust. Web browsers normally give visual keys such as a green bar or a lock key, to ensure that the visitors are fully aware when the connection is secure. This, in turn, means that the visitors are going to fully trust your website, especially when they see these visual cues. Hence they are more likely to purchase from you. SSL providers are also going to issue you with a trust seal, which will also instill more trust in your customers. SSL connections will also protect your clients from phishing attacks.
Criminals or hackers who are trying to impersonate you or your website usually send Phishing emails. Since it is exceedingly hard for such criminals to receive a proper SSL certificate, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for these criminals to perfectly replicate your website. This means that your clients are less likely to fall for a phishing attempt since they are going to look for trust indicators from your website on their browsers like the green bar address.
So as to accept credit card information on any website, the website owner is expected to pass specific audits and also show that he or she is complying with the standards set by Payment card industries. One requirement is the use of a proper SSL certificate.