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What is Secure Socket Layer (SSL)? Basically, it is the standard security technology used to encrypt online data. SSL offers encrypted communication between the web server (server-side) and the customer's web browser (client-side) when transmitting personal information such as credit card number, name and address. The SSL protocol uses Certificate Authority (CA) to issue 'digital certificates' to the authenticated company.

The whole SSL process involves authenticating the server's identity, the website's identity and once the authentication is verified, the message will be sent in the form of encrypted information to the one who asked for a certificate. Usually, a browser requests a SSL certificate and in turn the web server supplies its public key with the requested certificate. Then, the browser has to verify whether the certificate issued is valid (certified by the authorized parties) and also should verify whether the SSL certificate issued comes from the particular website for which the request has been made.

An SSL certificate contains important details of the owner like his e-mail address, validity period, Distinguished Name along with the Common Name and also the certificate identification of the person who issues this information. The Certification Authority (CA) maintains an extensive list in which we can find names of the signed certificates and also more information about the revoked SSL certificates. Additionally, SSL increases the accountability and visibility of the company and creates goodwill and positive image among the customers. The certification maintains the integrity of the data passed to and fro between the browsers and web server (this is private and confidential). Thus, it’s a good tool to meet the security, privacy, safety standards required to protect sensitive and personal data.

SSL is especially important when we give our credit card, personal information to e-commerce websites. SSL certification cannot easily be accessed by hackers because the certificates have the proper key to encrypt the data. Therefore, the security of the certificate is taken care off in all aspects so one can really rely on the Certificate Authority (CA).

The internet has undoubtedly created new opportunities for e-commerce. However, that development is also attracting an ever-increasing number of cyber criminals. A fraudulent web site made to look very alike to a legitimate website may try to entice innocent customers into revealing personal information unknowingly. The only solution to this problem is to take advantage of the Secure Sockets Layer technology and implement it on your website. On the bottom line, every website that deals with sensitive information like credit card numbers or any other critical person information should have proper SSL certifications in place to protect them and their customers.

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