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What Is An SSL Certificate?

What is an SSL Certificate?

Have you ever seen that some URL’s start with “http://” and that some other URL’s start with “https://”? So, where does that extra “s” come from and what does it mean? You might have noticed that extra “s” when you were on a website where you had to enter personal or sensitive information, like a shopping website.

That extra “s” basically means that your connection to that particular website is secure and has encrypted any information you enter on that website. It is then safely shared.  The intelligence that manages that little “s” is called SSL or Secure Sockets Layer. The official definition from states that: “SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all date passed between the web server and browser remain private.”

When you visit a website that has a form and you fill out that form, once you submit it, all the information you just entered could be accessed by a hacker on an unsecured website. This could be anything from bank transaction details to personal information you might enter to register for an offer. An attack by a hacker might happen a number of ways but one of the most common is a “man-in-the-middle attack.” A hacker can place an undetected listening program on the server hosting the website. The program then waits in the background until you come along and start typing your information into the website. Doing so, activates the program to start capturing the information you’re entering and then sends it back to the hacker.

However, when the website you’re visiting is encrypted will SSL, your browser will form a connection with the webserver, review the SSL certificate, and then bind together your browser and the server. This connection is secure so that only you and the website you’re visiting can see or access the information you type in. This secure connection happens instantly, so any website you visit with an SSL certificate will automatically create that connection.

Protect the visitors of your website before asking them for any information about themselves. They will appreciate knowing you take their security seriously. Contact us today by filling out the form below or calling (800) 764-8528 if you need help adding an SSL certificate to your website.

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