Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): How It Works

An SSL certificate keeps you and your customers safe by protecting the information that’s flowing to and from your website. It encrypts names, addresses, passwords, account and credit card numbers and more so hackers and other online criminals can’t read them.

WHERE WOULD I USE AN SSL CERTIFICATE?

The short answer to this question is that you would use an SSL Certificate anywhere that you wish to transmit information securely.

Here are some examples:

Securing communication between your web site and your customer’s Internet browser.

Securing internal communications on your corporate intranet.

Securing email communications sent to and from your network (or private email address).

Securing information between servers (both internal and external).

Securing information sent and received via mobile devices.

What Happens When a Web Browser Connects to a Secure Web Site

sslEncryption Protects Data During Transmission

Web servers and Web browsers rely on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to create a uniquely encrypted channel for private communications over the public Internet. Each SSL Certificate consists of a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt information and the private key is used to decipher it. When a Web browser points to a secured domain, a level of encryption is established based on the type of SSL Certificate as well as the client Web browser, operating system and host server’s capabilities. That is why SSL Certificates feature a range of encryption levels such as “up to 256-bit”.

Strong encryption, at 128 bits, can calculate 288 times as many combinations as 40-bit encryption. That’s over a trillion times a trillion times stronger. At current computing speeds, a hacker with the time, tools, and motivation to attack using brute force would require a trillion years to break into a session protected by an SGC-enabled certificate. To enable strong encryption for the most site visitors, choose an SSL Certificate that enables at least 128-bit encryption for 99.9% of Web site visitors.

 Credentials Establish Identity Online

Credentials for establishing identity are common: a driver’s license, a passport, a company badge. SSL Certificates are credentials for the online world, uniquely issued to a specific domain and Web server and authenticated by the SSL Certificate provider. When a browser connects to a server, the server sends the identification information to the browser. To view a Web sites’ credentials:

  • Click the closed padlock in a browser window

  • Click the trust mark (such as the Trust Seal)

  • Look in the green address bar*

 Only SSL Certificates with EV trigger high-security Web browsers to display your organization’s name in a green address bar.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s