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SSL encryption

SSL encryption

(also Secure Sockets Layer encryption)

SSL encryption definition

A security protocol used to create a protected link between websites and the user’s browser. SSL was integral to online authentication and became the foundation of secure online communications. Websites with a valid SSL certificate display “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” in their URLs and feature a padlock in front of their web addresses in your browser.

SSL was originally created by Netscape in 1995. It was eventually replaced by its successor, TLS (Transport Layer Security), but SSL has become so prevalent in popular culture that SSL and TLS are often used interchangeably. There are multiple certification authorities (CAs) on the internet able to issue a valid TLS/SSL certificate.

Real SSL encryption usage examples

  • Protecting customer data: Websites with a valid SSL certificate encrypt communications between their servers and the user’s device. Encrypted communications are shielded from prying eyes, meaning that data you enter into an SSL-certified website cannot be intercepted by outside observers. This is key to secure online shopping, banking, and other services involving payment or personal information.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security