What Are SSL Certificates and How Do I Use One?

January 30th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

While surfing the web you’re bound to have come across an SSL enabled page at some point and wondered what that meant. SSL encryption is usually encountered in areas where it’s important for the site to be secure and safe from unauthorized access like payment processing, inputting sensitive information, and anything else that you do on the Internet through a browser or application that is best kept from wandering eyes. SSL has become an essential feature for many web activities that require a secure connection and you may need to enable it on your own site depending on how your users interact with your server.

How does SSL work?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it serves primarily as a mechanism to verify a web page’s identity using encrypted certificates and keys. It’s a basic transaction of information between your browser and a web server before sharing data that ensures that all information is encrypted until it reaches the server to be decrypted.

First, your browser or application will request that a web server identify itself before any information is transferred. The server will then send the browser a copy of its SSL certificate, which must be checked by the browser using a combination of private and public keys to verify that the owner of the page is who they say they are using the site’s domain and IP address. If the browser accepts all of this information and trusts the certificate, it will tell this to the server which will send back an acknowledgement and finally begin to transfer information under the protection of SSL encryption so that no third parties can interfere.

The process of verification works both ways – the server checks to see that the user on the other side of the secured channel is who they appear to be and vice-versa. When the SSL certificate is first sent to the browser, the public key is included. The browser will use this public key to encrypt information before sending it to the server, and the server will use it’s own private key to decrypt it. If the information is accessed by any third parties between the browser and server, they will receive encrypted information that is impossible to read without the server’s private key.

How do I get SSL for my site?

If you want to use SSL encryption on your own site to enable secure connections with your users, it’s not very complicated. Royalty Networks offers multiple types of SSL certificates. Just choose the appropriate package and follow the instructions. A basic SSL setup will cost less than $20.00 per year. You will need to provide information about you and your site, once things are setup a private key will be generated (be sure to make a copy of this and keep it safe).

Tags: , , , | Posted in: General Stuff | 2 Comments

Comments


  1. Anniewhite says:

    Nowadays,SSL play a vital role in e-commerce to enable the users to ensure security while doing online transactions.

  2. felix says:

    SSL has been the de facto standard for e-commerce transaction security, and it’s likely to remain so well into the future.

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