What does SSL mean?
With 2017 seeing Google continue their campaign against insecure web sites (read my blog to find out more), we thought this was a good opportunity to look behind the abbreviations and discover what SSL and HTTPS mean and the impact they have on everyday web site visitors.
1. SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer.’ In layman’s terms, this is a secure way of sending information over the Internet. Any data transferred 'over SSL' - such as web page content from a server to your browser - gets encrypted prior to being sent over the web for viewing.
2. Many websites use SSL for secure areas of their sites, particularly user accounts and online checkouts. As information is encrypted, the theory is that even if someone unwelcome gets hold of it, they'll be unable to do anything with it.
3. SSL is applied to your website – or parts of your website – by way of a digital certificate, which is purchased and added to your domain to demonstrate its security to users. It also ensures any content from that domain is encypted.
4. When you visit a website whose address starts with ‘https’, the ‘s’ after the ‘http’ indicates the website is secure, and has SSL. You should also see a padlock before the https, like below:
5. SSL keeps personal data such as your name, address or credit card information between you and the merchant who you are sending it to.
6. If you want to find out more information about a site’s security, by clicking the ‘i’ icon, or right-clicking the padlock, you can get more details.
7. Like everything in life, there's a wide range of SSL certificates available and they vary in features and price. Some are free but will require ongoing administration, others are more expensive but offer the tightest security including the strongest encyption algorithms and verification checks.
SSL is likely to be a hot topic in 2017 with Google's planned warnings for insecure web sites.
If you’d like to know more about SSL, securing your site and how to get an SSL certificate, please get in touch.
Back to blog articles