eCommerce, Web Design

How Does an SSL Certificate Work?

Written by Chris Rowan
― 10 April 2017

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it is a security protocol used to secure data between two machines using encryption. Millions of websites use it every day to secure connections and keep your customer's data safe.

You may know of SSL by some common things you see every day in your internet browser. The pad lock, the browser bar turning green, the https protocol or the secure site seal. These are all indications that the site you’re visiting is using SSL encryption, and the information you give it is secured from attackers. Without SSL, attackers and spies can try to steal personal information from users including credit card details, user names, and passwords. To fully understand how SSL works, let’s go behind the pad lock. This is an example: Jim is a small business owner. He owns Jim’s Car Parts and he wants people to feel safe when visiting his website. Jim needs to apply for an SSL certificate from a certificate authority, so he calls us for some help.

We would tell Jim that there are different types of SSL, fast issuance, SSL for business and the highest trust level of SSL which turns the browser bar green. Some investigating on Jim and his company is then performed, Jim’s Car Parts is done first (including his website).

Once verified, Jim receives a copy of his SSL certificate which includes his business information. He can then install it onto his web server. When Jim’s server connects with his customer’s internet browser, an SSL hand shake is performed. This handshake checks to make sure the certificate is valid. Our method of obtaining a high performance SSL certificate provides the fastest SSL hand shake, so Jim doesn’t have to worry about losing any customers due to performance issues. Now when customers place an order, your sensitive information is secured with an SSL certificate and they are assured it’s a safe and legitimate website, and that Jim is really Jim.

The customer gets the car part, Jim receives his payment, and attackers get nothing. And that’s how SSL works. When you’re ready to get SSL security, come to WSI Digital Web and we’ll help you every step of the way.

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