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What Is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)? How Does It work?2 min read

by TechABU
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Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

Known as Secure Sockets Layer, it refers to a technology for encrypting and protecting connections on the Internet. Although SSL was replaced with an upgraded protocol known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) some years earlier, “SSL” is still a frequently used name for this technology.

The primary use case for SSL/TLS is protecting connections between a sender and receiver (client and a server), but it can also safeguard email, VoIP, and other communications across unprotected networks.

Why Do We Use SSL?

Every day, millions of people send sensitive data over the Internet. From financial documents to credit card numbers, sending unprotected data may lead to a third party stealing the data, altering the data, or utilizing the data for identity theft.

SSL and the succeeding Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols address this problem by securing information when it departs a web server and decrypting it when it reaches its destination. SSL can be used for web pages, emails, remote login, and more.

How Does SSL work?

  1. A user interacts with an SSL Encryption service like a website.
  2. The user’s application asks for the server’s public key in return for its public key. This public key exchange offers methods for both sides to encrypt communications that only the other side can read.
  3. When the user submits a message to the server, the application utilizes the server’s public key to secure the message.
  4. The server gets the user’s message and decrypts it using its secret key. Messages transmitted back to the web browser are encrypted in a similar manner using a public key provided by the user’s application.

Public key cryptography is comparable to using a padlock. The padlock itself is the unique identifier, and the combination is the secret key. The server shares its padlock, which anybody may use to secure a door or a box. However, the padlock can’t be unlocked without the combination, which only the server knows.

Advantages Of Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

SSL builds trust by creating a stable route for users to interact with internet services.

  • Users are more confident in online services because they know their data is being transferred securely.
  • Enterprises experience more excellent customer retention and trust because their clients are more confident in their capacity to protect data.
  • Users and businesses report fewer instances of data theft because sensitive data is no longer in danger of being intercepted.

What Is a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate (SSL Certificate)?

The SSL certificate is a certificate installed on a site’s server-side. It’s just a data file holding the public key and the website owner’s information, together with additional information. Without an SSL certificate, a site’s traffic can’t be secured using TLS.

Technically, any website owner may generate their unique SSL certificate, and such certifications are called self-signed certificates. However, browsers do not regard self-signed certificates as credible as SSL certificates issued by a certificate authority.

Final Words

In 2012, nearly 16 million individuals were victims of fraud owing to poorly secured data. Our reliance on digital communications has made that number more likely to grow unless businesses take extra measures to protect user data. SSL and TLS are first-line defenses in safeguarding users and eventually the company itself.

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