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What is an SSL Certificate?

You may have heard the term SSL or perhaps you are wondering what it is that "secures" a web site. You may also have noticed that some sites have a small sometimes green padlock showing by the URL. You will likely have heard references to secure transactions taking place when you enter data to a website especially when you buy or pay for something online.

Websites are secured with the use of an SSL Certificate.

An SSL Certificate is a small file that has a long code of randomly generated numbers; these numbers are registered to an organisation and a website domain. When installed on a web server, it allows totally secure communication between you and the website server. If a hacker intercepts the communication they cannot ‘read’ the information as they do not have a copy of the special code and it is such a long set of randomly generated numbers that they cannot break even with a powerful computer.

When you are connected to a web site that is SSL secured you will see a green padlock by the URL and the http:// will become https://

A SSL Certificate binds together:  A domain name, server name or hostname and an organisational identity (i.e. company name) and location.


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