HOW SSL’S WORK
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are used to encrypt the information travelling to and from the hosting server. This is instead of sending that data by plain text – which could be intercepted. It can be used for websites and email systems.
A very simple explanation of how SSL works would be:
- A browser tries to connect to a website
- The browser first contacts a DNS server to find where the site is hosted, then contacts that web server
- If the website is secured by SSL, the web server sends a copy of the website’s SSL certificate to the browser
- The browser checks to see whether the certificate is genuine with the issuer of the certificate. It needs to be a trusted certificate authority, such as Geotrust
- If it checks out OK, the browser sends a message to the web server and exchanges the necessary encryption information: a key and hashing cypher – basically a code!
- Encrypted data is shared between the browser and the web server
WHY YOU NEED AN SSL CERTIFICATE
Having an SSL certificate – giving your website URLs beginning with ‘https’ – is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.
If you run a site where a user has to enter information – such as a store – not having an SSL certificate could harm your business. Users are less likely to trust a non -‘https’ website. Google has been encouraging web designers to implement ‘https everywhere’ since 2014, and sites without SSL’s are being marked with security warnings.