What is an SSL certificate

An SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts data flow between the Website and its visitors building a secure line between the visitor and the server. It uses a cryptographic key to secure your data. Cryptographic keys are special data string that can lock or unlock data. The encryption of the data is so important because there are plenty of brokers between the server that hosts the website and the visitor. So even though a broker has access to the passing data. He can’t read or write data.

The connection between the server and the browser(visitor) lay on plenty of computers and modems and routers. Also, If the user browsing the internet from public wifi things got more nonsecure.

Encryption mechanism

Whenever you transfer encrypted information from your computer to a server, SSL makes them into a mesh of data. Also called “Cyphertext”. That can only be decrypted with a specific key to form a readable data. When you hit the submit button or in emails when you hit the send button. The receiver server will send your computer a public key. Once your computer receives the public key, it locks the message or your credit card number with a special algorithm. Then it will send to the server. Although the public key is a common key, It can’t use for decrypting data. When the encrypted message arrives at the server, It decodes the message by the private key.

These kinds of encryption commonly used by Microsoft, Facebook, Google when a user needs to sign up.

There are mainly two types of encryption methods.

  1. Asymmetric encryption
  2. Symmetric encryption.

Asymmetric encryption

public-key cryptography also known as Asymmetric encryption uses separate keys for encryption and decryption. But those both are paired in mathematically. The data sender uses the public key and the data receiver uses the private key. The most common asymmetric encryption algorithm is RSA. Those asymmetry keys are typically 1024 or 2048 bits long.

Symmetric key encryption

In symmetric key encryption, pre-shared keys are required. Both the encrypting and decrypting are done by the same key. The sender and the receiver both have the same key. Symmetric keys use 128 or 256-bit encoding systems. The longer the key size makes it harder to crack. A brute force attack can break symmetric key encryption easier than Asymmetric key encryption.

  • For SSL certificate it uses both the asymmetric encryption and symmetric encryption.
SSL Certificate image

How to know a website is secure

If the website is an online selling website that accepts credit cards It is essential to use an SSL certificate. That means HTTPS instead of HTTP. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol While HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. If you are about to purchase something online, you need to check for HTTPS presence in the URL. If a website uses HTTPS it means the line between you and the server is secure. We also use an SSL certificate.

HTTPS in a website image

But, All of the web browsers now show a warning message when you entering a less secure website that doesn’t use an SSL certificate. Also, Most of the browsers prevent users from entering those sites.

Why SSL certificate important to your site

If you are a website owner you need to know about the importance of an SSL certificate(HTTPS) to your site. If a website doesn’t have an SSL certificate(HTTPS) it can lose your website traffic. Most of the web browsers that your visitors use to visit your website will show a warning to the visitor. Then the visitor will probably go to another site. Also, the SSL certificate is also a factor that considers google search console when ranking websites.

Chrome warning of non ssl websites

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