What is an SSL Certificate and how does it work?

Boats Group started an initiative of implementing SSL certificates. Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with "http://" while others start with "https://"? Perhaps you noticed that extra "s" when you were browsing websites that require giving over sensitive information, like when you were paying bills online.

To put it simply, the extra "s" means your connection to that website is secure and any encrypted data you enter is safely shared with that website. The technology that powers that little "s" is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

The effective implementation of SSL certificates is a proven tool to establish customer trust. Whether you are an individual or a company, you should approach online security in the same way that you would approach physical security for your home or business. Not only does it make you feel safer but it also protects people who visit your home, place of business, or website.

An SSL certificate is a small piece of code that has two specific functions

1. Authentication and Verification: The SSL certificate has information about the authenticity of certain details regarding the identity of a person, business or website, which it will display to visitors on your website when they click on the browser’s padlock symbol or trust mark.

2. Data Encryption: The SSL certificate also enables encryption, which means that the sensitive information exchanged via the website cannot be intercepted and read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

Secure Sockets Layer Explained (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser. SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Normally, data sent between browsers and web servers is sent in plain text—leaving you vulnerable to eavesdropping. If an attacker is able to intercept all data being sent between a browser and a web server, they can see and use that information. More specifically, SSL is a security protocol. Protocols describe how algorithms should be used. In this case, the SSL protocol determines variables of the encryption for both the link and the data being transmitted.

3 ways to know that your site has a valid SSL certificate?

1. A standard website without SSL security displays “http:// ” before the website address in the browser address bar. This moniker stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and is the conventional way to transmit information over the Internet. However, a website that is secured with a SSL certificate will display “https:// ” before the address. This stands for Secure HTTP.

2. You will also see a padlock symbol on the top or bottom of the Internet browser (depending on which browser you are using). 

3. Often, you will also notice a trust mark displayed on the website itself.

Click here to learn about the best practices and guidelines for SSL and Secure Websites.

Source: https://www.digicert.com/ssl/

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