If you want to run commercial transactions, or process your website’s data online securely, you need an SSL certificate for your website. Basically, it gives you the valid encryption for the website – and if you ever wondered what is the difference between domains that have http:// or https:// in the URL, this is it: letter S means that it is a secure, encrypted connection. Most common everyday use for the SSL is in the e-Commerce.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an encryption protocol that provides communication security over the Internet. TLS stands for a Transport Layer Security. SSL is a predecessor of TLS. Both TLS and SSL are using asymmetric cryptography for authentication of key exchange, symmetric encryption for confidentiality, and message authentication codes for message integrity.

What it means to end user – your internet connection is encrypted and secured. That is when you can see a trusted HTTPS marker on the address bar.

Uses for SSL

SSL explained - flowchart

Visual Aid: Simplified Flowchart – How SSL works.

In web business   SSL/TLS is used for securing World Wide Web traffic between the website and the browser carried by HTTP to form HTTPS . Most common applications are electronic commerce such as online stores, and asset management, such as account records.

Here is a simplified flowchart that explains how encryption protocol works. While several version of TLS and SSL are popular for applications such as web browsing, electronic mail, internet faxing, instant messaging and VoIP (voice-over IP), this flowchart mainly refers to web applications – such as e-commerce.

The SSL or TLS protocol allows client-server applications to communicate across a network in a way designed to prevent eavesdropping and tampering.


Where can you get an SSL for your website

Your website host may provide you with certificate, or you may purchase it from the certificate-issuing authority, such as GoDaddy. There are several types of certificates, depending on the extent of your needs.