By Oliver Macpherson –
During the course of daily transactions involving the use of computers most take for granted that the information sent and received is secure. The technology which allows the safe transfer of data can be attributed to the protocol known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer).
The SSL Certificates explained in laymen’s terms defines the security protocol used to protect online communications. It’s most common usage is to protect confidential data such as personal details or credit card information.
When a person initiates a transaction by clicking the submit button or entering data onto a web site the process begins to establish a secure connection. The browser then checks the SSL Certificate assuring it is valid and the web site is legitimate. Encryption of data ensues along with codes read by both the browser and web site. A human has the ability to encrypt data but the computer using SSL is indeed much faster and efficient. SSL Certificates contain the computer owner’s public key, hence the technology in PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) that allows the sharing of encrypted data by SSL, TLS and HTTPS; thus SSL Certificates explained.
The HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) which is displayed on the address bar of the PC giving a visual cue to validate that the site being visited has a secure connection; however the HTTPS certificate does not function as a stand-alone protocol, but relies on SSL Certificates to encrypt data on web sites that use this technology. The HTTPS certificate is a digital encryption tool that utilizes SSL protocol and is most often used by online banking, credit card payment web sites and those that rely heavily on a secure connection for their customers and the businesses themselves.
With the increasing number of computer hackers gaining access to sensitive documents and data around the world it has become imperative for banks, credit card issuers and business owners large and small to protect their interests. Most if not all businesses own or lease computer equipment to assist them with inventory, ordering and billing, payroll and a myriad of other applications. With the technology afforded by the use of SSL Certificates, HTTPS and encryption based communications allow merchants and those that conduct business online the assurance that their personal information is safeguarded. SSL, TLS and HTTPS work in synchronous effort to ensure a safe, secure environment for the Internet community.
Oliver is a passionate web security analyst who wishes to promote the correct ways to secure business websites.
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