How does an SSL certificate work?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key.
An SSL certificate ensures safe, easy, and convenient internet shopping. Once an internet user enters a secure area — by entering credit card information, email address, or other personal data, for example — the shopping site's SSL certificate enables the browser and Web server to build a secure, encrypted connection. The SSL "handshake" process, which establishes the secure session, takes place discreetly behind the scene without interrupting the consumer's shopping experience. A "padlock" icon in the browser's status bar and the "https://" prefix in the URL are the only visible indications of a secure session in progress.
By contrast, if a user attempts to submit personal information to an unsecured website (i.e., a site that is not protected with a valid SSL certificate), the browser's built-in security mechanism triggers a warning to the user, reminding him/her that the site is not secure and that sensitive data might be intercepted by third parties. Faced with such a warning, most internet users will likely look elsewhere to make a purchase.
To find product information, please see our SSL Certificate page.