Some URLs start with ‘http://’ while others start with ‘https://’. People hardly notice the extra ‘s’ when browsing unless you are looking for it, but it’s actually more significant than you think. The extra ‘s’ usually pops up when you are browsing websites that ask for sensitive information such as credit cards or passwords. This feature means that your connection has been secured and encrypted. When you share data with the website, it will be done safely. The technology behind this little ‘s’ is what is known as Secure Sockets Layer or SSL.
An SSL certificate is a type of digital certificate that gives authentication for a website and enables a secured and encrypted connection. The certificate comes in file form and activates a padlock feature that brings on the secure connection when it is installed on a web server.
On a web server, it serves two main functions. First, it guarantees visitors that they are not on a fake or duplicate site by authenticating the website's identity. Then, it also encrypts the data that is transmitted on the website to ensure that everything transferred within the website is secured.
How Does It Work?
SSL certificates work through something known as public key cryptography. Cryptography is an art of writing and solving codes, and this form uses the power of two keys; a private key and a public key. They are long strings of randomly generated numbers. A public key is visible in the public domain and known to your server. It can be used to encrypt any message. For example, person A will send a message to Person B and lock it with person B’s public key.
However, the message can only be opened using person B’s private key. A private key only belongs to one person hence the name. Even if a hacker reaches the message before person B gets to it, they will get a cryptographic code that they cannot break even with a powerful computer. In terms of websites, person A is the website, and person B is the server.
All data passed between the two parties will remain private and secured. That way, hackers cannot steal private information. This technology is popularly used on commerce pages that require users to input personal data and credit card information.
The future of SSL certificates is prominent. Researchers have predicted that online commerce will soon make up 17 percent of all U.S retail sales by the year 2022. This is pretty substantial when compared to the 12.7 percent of 2017.
This has huge implications for businesses. Online shopping is becoming more and more popular, and it will remain so with a guarantee of safety for all users. This safety is guaranteed by SSL certificates. Every website that is used to track finance and make online purchases should be secure and legitimate. It is only possible with SSL certificates.
Where Can I Get an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates have to come from a trusted Certificate Authority or CA. Normally, browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices have lists of trusted CA root certificates. Typically, you can talk to your web hosting provider and they will be able to offer an install an SSL certificate on your website.
Always Secure Hosting
Every Precision Creative hosting package comes with an SSL certificate to make sure your business stays secure and compliant. Contact us to discuss your website hosting needs and how we can help.