What is an SSL certificate?05/28/2021
SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is a network protocol that is considered a common standard for encrypting data on the Internet. Thanks to it, secure connections between the computer and the server on which the website is located are possible. Thus, we have security that all transmitted data is confidential and will not be in the wrong hands. SSL is responsible for encrypting connections with the website, server or e-mail.
Fortunately, with the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the SSL certificate has become one of the basic safeguards used by responsible website administrators.
How does the SSL protocol work? How is data protected with an SSL certificate transmitted?
- The browser queries the server to confirm its identity.
- The server sends a copy of the SSL certificate to the browser.
- The browser verifies that the certificate presented by the server is valid.
- The browser sends an acknowledgment to the server.
- The server sends confirmation of the start of an encrypted SSL session.
- The content sent between the browser and the server is already encrypted.
Who needs to use an SSL certificate?
When we think about the security of our data on the Web, we immediately think of electronic banking services or online stores that process our address or payment card data required during online payment. We certainly do not want this data to be in the possession of unauthorized entities.
It is also very important that the official company websites use the SSL certificate for direct contact with customers. Guaranteeing users' safety builds a sense of trust in the company and the brand.
How to know that a given website is secured with an SSL certificate?
If the website uses an SSL certificate, then in the address bar, instead of http: //, we see the prefix https: //. The "S" corresponds to the use of an SSL certificate.
Additionally, a closed padlock symbol should be visible in the address bar of the website. After clicking on it, detailed information about the certificate should be displayed, e.g. its expiry date.
If the website does not have an SSL certificate, the message "Not secure" will appear in the address bar. This is information that it is not worth entering personal data on the website, as there is no guarantee of their confidentiality.