Entrust SSL is Security

Understanding Digital Certificates & Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) digital certificates are electronic files that are used to identify people and resources over networks such as the Internet. Digital certificates also enable secure, confidential communication between two parties using encryption.

Certificates are issued by a Certification Authority (CA). Much like the role of a passport office, the CA validates the certificate holder's identity and "signs" the certificate so that it cannot be tampered with or altered.

What is SSL?

SSL technology is a security protocol that is today's de-facto standard for securing communications and transactions across the Internet. SSL has been implemented in all major browsers and Web servers, and plays a major role in today's online commerce, retail shopping, banking and more.

The SSL protocol uses digital certificates to create a secure, confidential communications "pipe" between two entities. Data transmitted over an SSL connection cannot be tampered with or forged without the two parties becoming immediately aware of the tampering.

What are SSL Certificates?

An SSL Web server certificate authenticates the identity of a website to browser users and enables encrypted communications using SSL. When a browser user wants to send confidential information to a Web server, the browser will access the server's digital certificate and obtain its public key to encrypt the data.

Since the Web server is the only party with access to its private key, only the server can decrypt the information. This is how the information remains confidential and tamper-proof while in transit across the Internet.

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