Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

This definition explains the meaning of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is a security protocol that establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link turns information into indecipherable code, preventing hackers from reading any packets of data they manage to intercept.

But to establish a secure connection, web servers must have SSL certificates installed. In short, SSL certificates are a small set of files; that bind private and public keys to your company details. These keys encrypt and decrypt data travelling to and from the webserver and browser, thus ensuring only authorised users can access certain information.

SSL certificates also hold public files containing information about your domain name, certificate expiration date, and a digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority (CA) that allow browsers to verify a website’s certificate. Without this installed, visitors get security alerts not to trust your website.