What is Secure Sockets Layer or SSL?

by | Jan 24, 2018 | Security | 0 comments

For those of you wondering, what is SSL? There are two different types of website; those that carry an SSL Certificate and those that don’t. The easiest way to figure out whether the website you’re interacting with is safe is by checking the URL. To put it simply, a website with a URL that begins with “http://” is not a secure website while a website that starts with “https://” is safe. It’s especially important when paying for a product or bill online to pay close attention to this as you run the risk of sharing your details with a website that hasn’t a secure connection. There’s also the possibility that the website you are visiting may be a scam site set up by unscrupulous individuals who are out to phish sensitive information.

How does SSL work?

Whilst we still may refer to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) the protocol for Layer Security an new version referred to as TLS (Transport Layer Security) is also available. The process of when a user interacts with a SSL or TLS-enabled server in order to establish a secure connection is known as a handshake. After the handshake is made the user presents a list of supported cipher suites (ciphers and hash functions) to the server. The server then picks a cipher and hash function that it also supports by way of a digital certificate. This certificate is essential to the handshake progress as it contains such vital information as the server name, its CA (certificate authority), and the server’s public encryption key. Following this a connection is made and the key is then used to encrypt all transmitted data.

Why is an SSL certificate important to me?

Without taking into consideration the actual security issues of visiting or owning a site without an SSL certificate, you should be concerned with the fact that Google will rank the pages of your website lower. Initially proposed back in 2014 by the Chrome Security Team, Google Chrome also has been displaying websites as “Not Secure” since January 2017.

As we start 2018 and with the importance of UX finally beginning to be understood, all of these signals will be identified by internet users and it will become natural for them to only trust websites with that lovely green padlock.

Daniel Smith

By Daniel Smith

Dan is the lead Content Creator & Social Media Manager at Unity Websites and has an unyielding passion for all things digital, coffee and cake.

By Daniel Smith

Dan is the lead Content Creator & Social Media Manager at Unity Websites and has an unyielding passion for all things digital, coffee and cake.

Daniel Smith

By Daniel Smith

Dan is the lead Content Creator & Social Media Manager at Unity Websites and has an unyielding passion for all things digital, coffee and cake.

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