However, transmitting data without proper security measures can result in it being intercepted by a third party, manipulated, or used for identity theft.
To prevent this, SSL and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), were developed to encrypt data leaving a web server and decrypt it upon arrival at its destination. SSL is implemented on websites, email services, remote logins, and various other applications to ensure secure data transmission.
Although TLS is the current encryption protocol that remains in use online, it is often still referred to as "SSL encryption," leading to confusion for those seeking security solutions. Despite this confusion, any vendor offering "SSL" is most likely providing TLS protection, which has been an industry standard for over two decades. However, since many people still search for "SSL protection," the term continues to be featured prominently on many product pages.
What is SSL?
The networking protocol SSL was designed to secure connections between web clients and servers over an insecure network, such as the internet. It was introduced by Netscape in 1995 and became the first widely used protocol for securing online transactions between consumers and businesses. As it evolved, SSL was also used to secure authentication and encryption for other applications at the network transport layer.
However, SSL faced numerous issues, leading the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to stop recommending its use in 2015. Its replacement, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, has taken over SSL's role in securing internet connections, although SSL is still used in legacy systems.
SSL played a crucial role in e-commerce by securing connections between web browsers and websites, helping to create a safe environment for online transactions. Without SSL, data sent to and from a website could be intercepted by malicious actors.
How to Determine if a Website is Secure with SSL
You can tell if a website is secured with SSL by looking for the padlock icon in the address bar of your web browser. The padlock icon indicates that the website is using a secure connection, which means that any data transmitted between your web browser and the website is encrypted and protected from unauthorized access.
In addition to the padlock icon, you can also look for "https" in the website's URL instead of "http". The extra "s" stands for secure and indicates that the website is using SSL or its successor TLS to establish a secure connection.
Most modern web browsers also display a warning message if you try to access a website that is not secured with SSL. The warning message may state that the website is not secure or that your connection is not private, and it may advise you not to enter any sensitive information on the website.
Understanding SSL Certificates
SSL certificates (technically known as "TLS certificates") are necessary for implementing SSL on websites. They act like an ID card or a badge that proves the identity of a website or application. SSL certificates are stored and displayed on the web server that hosts the website or application.
The SSL certificate contains essential information, including the website's public key, which enables encryption and authentication. When a user's device accesses a website with an SSL certificate, it uses the public key to establish secure encryption keys with the web server. At the same time, the web server uses its private key to decrypt data that was encrypted with the public key.
Certificate authorities (CA) are responsible for issuing SSL certificates. They validate the identity of the website or application before issuing the certificate. This ensures that users can trust the website they are accessing, as the certificate authority has verified its authenticity. In summary, SSL certificates are crucial for website security, and their proper implementation ensures safe and secure communication between a user's device and the website or application.
The Importance of SSL for Website Security and Data Protection
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) plays a vital role in securing online communication, protecting sensitive data from cyber threats. Without SSL, confidential information such as Social Security numbers is vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals who can easily intercept and use the information.
SSL is essential for secure online transactions, especially for payments or sharing personal information like credit card numbers. It establishes trust between a website and its visitors by ensuring that the data exchanged between them is kept private and secure.
Moreover, SSL helps websites comply with critical information security standards, such as authentication, encryption, and integrity. It verifies the identity of the website server, keeps data transmissions private and protected, and confirms that the requested or transmitted data is delivered accurately.
Additionally, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol used to establish secure connections to websites employs asymmetric cryptography.
When entering your CVV number, make sure to only enter it on secure websites with SSL encryption.