By Lea Pachta

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a protocol which creates a secure connection between a client and the server over which to send information.

SSL works by using a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data. The first key is a private or secret key, only known to the recipient of the message. The second key is a public key, known to everyone. Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer both support SSL and many websites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.

As a general rule, you can tell whether a URL requires an SSL connection if it begins with “https” instead of “http”.A valid SSL Certificate is an assurance that information which you will share on this site, will be sent in an encrypted, safe way.

An SSL Certificate will contain information on the domain name, its owner and the physical location of the owner and the validity dates of the certificate. SSL Certificates are thus a useful tool in determining whether websites are trustworthy or not. Many online shoppers will not risk buying items on a non-secure site.

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