What is an SSL Certificate?

What is an SSL Certificate?

Security and SSL Certificates

In need of a quick run-down of everything essential, there is to know about SSL certificates, the key security for online communications? Are they vital for your corporation? Here’s our insight...

An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), also known as a Digital Certificate, forms a secure link between a website and a visitor's browser that authenticates the identity of the website and encrypts (converts data into a code) information sent to the server by the visitor using SSL technology. SLL encryption prevents hackers from stealing private information such as bank card details, full names and addresses and passwords by ensuring that all data transmitted between both ends remains private and secure.

When a browser attempts to access a website that is secured by SSL, the browser and the web server establish an SSL connection using a process called an “SSL Handshake”. Much like a formal greeting. This is totally invisible to the user and happens instantaneously.

If you’re a company or organization, you must install the SSL Certificate onto its web server in order to initiate a secure session with browsers, especially if you sell products or services where a user’s bank card or other details are needed for purchase. Having one in place adds credibility and the reassurance to the customer that they need when trusting the browser with that private information.

If you don’t sell products but would, however, like to sustain the same credibility, a Site Confirm Deal may be right for you.


When the installation is completed successfully onto your server, the application protocol that appears in the URL bar on your browser (also seen as HTTP) will change to HTTPs, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’.

Benefits of having an SSL Certificate in your website

  • It increases your Google rankings. Having one of these is officially a Google ranking factor. The more reputable you are, the higher up and more frequent you’ll appear.
  • It builds and enhances customer trust. You instantly increase your reliability.
  • It hugely improves conversion rates. Trust is a big problem in the world of business. It’s known that a lot of consumers travel to a business’ website, but end up drifting back to the big, established brands that give them a stronger degree of protection. An SSL certificate is a reassurance, which leads to higher conversion rates.

The original SSL certificate that was released was named SSLv1.0. Each time a new and more secure version of the SSL certificate was released, only originally was the version number altered to reflect the change, therefore version two was entitled SSLv2.0. However, when the time came to update from SSLv3.0, instead of calling the latest version SSLv4.0, it was renamed TLSv1.0, which leads us to where we’re at today. The most updated Secure Sockets Layer Certificate is TLSv1.2.

Are you looking for a deeper look in SSL certificates? read our SSL Certificate Explained guide to learn more.

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