An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that permits an encrypted connection and verifies the legitimacy of a website. Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is a security protocol that establishes a secure connection between a web server and a web browser.
To secure online transactions and protect client information, businesses and organizations must add SSL certificates to their websites.
Simply put, SSL protects internet connections by preventing hackers from reading or altering data sent between two computers. When the URL in the address bar has a padlock icon next to it, SSL is being used to secure that particular website.
The SSL protocol has gone through multiple iterations since it was first introduced roughly 25 years ago, all of which experienced security issues at some point. Thereafter, TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is still in use today, was redesigned and given a new name. The old name of the protocol is still frequently used to refer to the new one since the initials SSL stayed.
In order for SSL to function, all data exchanged between users and websites or between two systems must remain unreadable. Data in transit is encrypted using algorithms to prevent hackers from accessing it as it travels over the network. Names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other potentially sensitive information, such as financial information, are included in this data.
The procedure is as follows:
A browser or server tries to connect to a web server (i.e., a website) that is SSL-secured.
The web server's identification is requested by the browser or server.
In response, the web server delivers a copy of its SSL certificate to the browser or server.
Whether a browser or server trusts the SSL certificate is determined by this check. If so, it alerts the webserver of this.
A digitally signed acknowledgment is subsequently returned by the web server to initiate an SSL encrypted session.
The webserver and the browser or server exchange encrypted data.
The phrase "SSL handshake" is sometimes used to describe this procedure. Although it seems like a long procedure, it just takes a few milliseconds.
Websites require SSL certificates to protect user data, confirm the site's ownership, stop hackers from building a false version of the site, and inspire trust in users.
It is crucial to maintain the privacy of the data whenever a website requests users to sign in, enter personal information like their credit card numbers, or see confidential information like financial or medical records. Keeping online communications private and reassuring users that a website is trustworthy and secure to exchange sensitive data with.
The requirement for an SSL certificate for an HTTPS web address is more pertinent to enterprises. Since HTTPS is the secure variant of HTTP, SSL is used to encrypt traffic on HTTPS websites. HTTP sites - those without SSL certificates - are typically marked as "not secure" by browsers. This makes it evident to consumers that the website might not be trustworthy, which encourages companies that haven't switched over to HTTPS to do so.
An SSL certificate aids in protecting data like:
Credit card transactions or bank account information
Personally identifiable information (such as full name, address, date of birth, or telephone number)
Legal documents and contracts
A tool called the SSL Checker (Secure Sockets Layer Checker) is used to examine and confirm that an SSL certificate has been installed correctly on the web server. The SSL check makes sure that the SSL certificate is legitimate, dependable, and working properly.
Follow these instructions to examine the SSL certificate.
Launch the SSL Checker tool.
Click the "Check SSL Certificate" button after entering the URL in the space designated for that purpose.
In addition to the common name, server type, issuer, validity, certificate chaining, and other certificate characteristics, the tool will process your query and return the results.
Use our simple SSL Checker to rapidly identify issues with the installation of your SSL certificate. To ensure that the SSL certificate on your web server is correctly installed, legitimate, trusted, and does not present any issues to any of your users, you can verify it.