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What is an SSL certificate?

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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic Internet protocol that provides a secure connection (an encrypted link) between a web server and a browser.

This secure link ensures that all data transferred from the browser to the web server, and vice versa, is integral and private.

Before transmitting the information via SSL secured page, it is coded with a unique key and after the information is received, the same key is used to decode the data.

SSL is a standard security technology used by millions of websites on the Internet. URLs that are secured with an SSL certificate start with https, instead of the common http.

The main application for SSL certificates is securing pages that obtain sensitive data from the site visitors - payment details, personal information, etc.

Site visitors will know that a certain page is SSL secured by the lock indicator of their browser.

HTTPS

The SSL certificate contains information about the domain name, the company/personal name, the address (including the city, the state, and the country) of the company or person it is issued for as well as the expiration date of the Certificate and information for the Certification Authority that has issued the Certificate.

When a connection to a secure site is established, the browser retrieves the site's SSL Certificate and checks if it is expired, if it has been issued by a trusted Certification Authority, and if it is being used by the website it has been issued for.

A warning will be displayed by the browser if any of the checks fail and it will inform the site visitor that the page is not secured by SSL.

 
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