What is SSL?
SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.”
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.
But where'd that extra “s” come from, and what does it mean?
To put it simply, the extra “s” means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted any 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”.
How Do I Know a Website is Secure with SSL?
Technically, SSL is a transparent protocol which requires little interaction from the end user when establishing a secure session. In the case of a browser, you can tell if a site is using SSL when a padlock is displayed or the address bar shows the URL as HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Here is an example of a website secured with SSL in Chrome 56 versus a website that is insecure.
Why Do I Need SSL?
With so much of our day to day transactions and communications happening online, there is very little reason for not using SSL. SSL supports the following information security principles:
- Encryption: protect data transmissions (e.g. browser to server, server to server, application to server, etc.)
- Authentication: ensure the server you’re connected to is actually the correct server.
- Data integrity: ensure that the data that is requested or submitted is what is actually delivered.
SSL can be used to secure:
- Online credit card transactions or other online payments.
- Intranet-based traffic, such as internal networks, file sharing, extranets and database connections.
- Webmail servers like Outlook Web Access, Exchange and Office Communications Server.
- The connection between an email client such as Microsoft Outlook and an email server such as Microsoft Exchange.
- The transfer of files over HTTPS and FTP(s) services, such as website owners updating new pages to their websites or transferring large files.
- System logins to applications and control panels like Parallels, cPanel and others.
- Workflow and virtualization applications like Citrix Delivery Platforms or cloud-based computing platforms.
- Hosting control panel logins and activity like Parallels, cPanel and others.
How Do I Get SSL?
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