A Secure Sockets Layer or a SSL certificate is designated to protect the identity and data that is transmitted between a web site and a web user through a third party. This third party maintains the security of a website using HTTPS protocols, so that any sensitive, confidential, or personal information is encrypted by the website user and can only be decrypted by the website owner.
A site that is protected under an SSL certificate is made virtually theft and interference free. SSL certificates are essential to keep potential intruders away from your customers and their data. Having an SSL certificate means the entire website or specific components or the website are secure. This builds a protected wall around sensitive information using virtually unbreakable 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) making the site secure. This is especially important during any online transmissions such as when websites collect information from its users such as with credit card purchases and when personal information is exchanged.
An SSL enabled connection on a website will show a lock icon, which indicates that any data exchanged is secure and only the website that can see your information for that particular transmission. Today, most users look and demand for this protection, especially when shopping online or submitting personal data. Under an SSL certificate the site is deemed safe through the third party who signs a certificate, seals the website, and guarantees that the information exchanged between the user and the site cannot be shared, read, deciphered, decrypted or accessed by a third party.
Not every website needs an SSL certificate. Anything online can be transmitted and intercepted, but some information should be protected more than others. When data is entered into a site through a non-secure internet connection, the information is transmitted in plain text. Regardless if a customer sees a collection of stars that follow their credit card number, they can still be interrupted into plain text.
In general, SSL certificates stop anyone other than the site from seeing your information. They are advisable to have on sites that contain an exchange of personal information such as credit card numbers, bank numbers, names, addresses, identity numbers, social security numbers, email address and passwords. This can also include sensitive company information that requires a secure connection. Having an SSL certified site will not keep personal information safe from customers but can protect a website from potential fraud.
Secure Certificates are particularly important to online stores, banks, and businesses in order to protect transactions and give their customers a peace of mind that their information is safe. Most customers are familiar with an SSL seal and look for it when making purchases. Although sales online are flourishing, many consumers are still hesitant to shop on a website that does not have an SSL seal of certification. Having an SSL secured site can take the fear that sensitive data can be stolen or compromised. This can also add to a potential customer base if they see that your site is taking the methods to make them feel secure.
Some common SSL protected sites are colleges, online stores, banks, papal, concert sites, etc. Registering under an SSL demonstrates that a company is taking the trouble to ensure safety and security.