What is SSL?



SSL defined:

  • A security protocol that encrypts data transferred on a network
  • Most commonly used to encrypt web pages viewed on a browser
  • Google prefers webmasters use SSL which enables HTTPS protocol
  • Also used to safeguard email, e-fax and VOIP

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol used to secure a private connection and maintain data integrity between two computer endpoints. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is the successor to SSL. It uses stronger security algorithms and can protect more types of network communications. Both are covered by the name "SSL".

SSL can be used to protect the data transferred between a website server and a browser, an email server and the email sender or recipient, VOIP (voice over IP) users and other types of network communications.

What does SSL do?

When a web browser, for example, requests to open communications with a secure web server, they privately share a security key which is temporarily saved on each computer. Each data packet issued during the communication is also secured and any attempted hacks can be identified and prevented. SSL blocks both automated and manual hacking from malicious attacks.

Why is SSL important for Small Business websites?

If your website visitors enter their name, email, phone number or other information into a form on your site, SSL protects their personal information from theft.

Google recently sent warning messages to webmasters who DO NOT have SSL enabled and include forms. The messages indicate that Google will start marking such sites insecure.

When someone clicks a link leading to your website, you want them to see your web page and not a hacked version. By encrypting the link between two connecting devices, SSL ensures the data passing between them remains private and can't be altered in any way. SSL prevents a common hacking procedure called "Man in the middle" where the traffic flow is diverted to a third computer which can inject infected code into the data or serve a hacked version of your web page.

How do I implement SSL?

The key used to open encrypted data transfer between your website and a browser is generated on the web server. Your web hosting provider secures the server and ensures it passes the required tests and then the server can issue the keys.

  1. ask your website hosting provider to enable SSL for your site
  2. you or your webmaster need to divert web traffic to the HTTPS protocol
  3. ensure all four versions of your website domain name work with HTTPS
  4. re-submit your website domain to search engines for crawling

When implementing SSL, make sure your hosting provider uses strict security, private keys. If you have any questions, please contact us for help.