What is a SSL certificate?

ItĘs no secret that information transmitted via the Internet can sometimes be read by other people. We have all heard the harrowing stories about online identity theft and many of us know someone who has been affected by it. To help keep sensitive information like credit card numbers and social security number more secure, a special Internet protocol was developed.

The Secure Sockets Layer, also known as SSL, was created. You can recognize a Secure Sockets Layer by its web address prefix, “https.” The SSL makes use of cryptographic encryption of data sent to and from your website. In this way the SSL keeps malicious outsiders from decrypting the sensitive information. Your customers feel secure because they know that their information has been transmitted over the Internet with all precautions taken.

To use “https”, you are required to have an SSL certificate. The certificate is actually special data identifying your server and informing Internet browsers how to encrypt the data that is sent to it. When you use an SSL certificate, you ensure your eCommerce customers that they are downloading data from your site only. Your SSL certificate is only valid with your website's domain name. Your SSL certificate also guarantees your Internet shoppers that the information that they send via the Internet is secure, because only your server knows how to decode it.
Some web hosting servers include SSL certificates with their hosting packages. Some web hosts require you to buy your SSL certificate separately.

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