What is an SSL Certificate ?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a global standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server. It is utilized by millions1 of online businesses and individuals to decrease the risk of sensitive information (e.g., credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, emails, etc.) from being stolen or tampered with by hackers and identity thieves.

In essence, SSL allows for a private “conversation” just between the two intended parties.

To create this secure connection, an SSL certificate (also referred to as a “digital certificate”) is installed on a web server and serves two functions:

  1. It authenticates the identity of the website (this guarantees visitors that they’re not on a bogus site)
  2. It encrypts the data that’s being transmitted