What is an SSL Certificate?

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that confirms a website’s identity and enables a secure connection. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser.

A certificate authority (CA) is a reputable institution that confirms a website’s legitimacy. The CA evaluates the certificate requester’s information to industry standards, such as site ownership, name, and location, before issuing a certificate. The CA also uses their own private key to digitally sign the certificate, allowing clients to validate it.

Details typically included within SSL certificates include:

  • The certificate was obtained for this website.
  • The following organization received it.
  • The name of the issuing CA.
  • The CA’s digital signature.
  • Subdomains with a connection.
  • Certificate issuance and expiration dates.
  • The password.

How does an SSL certificate work?

SSL makes it harder to read data sent between people and websites, or between two systems. It encrypts data in transit to prevent hackers from gaining access to it while it travels across the network. Potentially sensitive data includes names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other financial information.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. A browser tries to connect to an SSL-secured website.
  2. The web server is asked to identify itself by the browser or server.
  3. In response, the webserver delivers a copy of its SSL certificate to the browser or server.
  4. The certificate is checked by the browser or server to see if it is trusted. If it does, the webserver will be notified.
  5. After that, the webserver sends a digitally signed acknowledgment, which initiates an SSL secured session.
  6. The web server and the browser or server exchange encrypted data.

Only the characters HTTP – not the S for Secure – will appear without an SSL certificate. In the URL address bar, a padlock icon will also appear. Visitors to the website will feel more secure because of this.

Visit https://www.sslcertificate.ch/what-are-the-differences-between-http-and-https/ to find out more information on HTTP/HTTPS and what is the difference between the two.

To view an SSL certificate’s details, you can click on the padlock symbol located within the browser bar. Details typically included within certificates include:

  • The domain name.
  • Which person, organization, or device it was issued to.
  • Which Certificate Authority issued it.
  • The Certificate Authority’s digital signature.
  • Associated subdomains.
  • Issue date of the certificate.
  • The expiry date of the certificate.
  • The public key.

Why do you need an SSL certificate?

These certificates help keep online interactions secret by assuring visitors that the website they’re visiting is legitimate and secure.

An SSL certificate helps to secure information such as:

  • Login credentials.
  • Credit card transactions or bank account information.
  • Personally identifiable information.
  • Legal documents and contracts.
  • Medical records.
  • Proprietary information.

Different Certificate Authorities


  • DigiCert is the world’s largest high-assurance certificate authority.
  • responsible for 58% of the market for Extended Validation SSL certificates and 96% of the market for organization-validated certificates.


  • Sectigo is a cybersecurity CA providing digital identity solutions.
  • SSL/TLS, DevOps, IoT, enterprise-grade PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) administration, and multi-layered web security are just a few examples.


  • Thawte is a leading global Certification Authority.
  • The code signing digital certificates are used globally to secure servers, provide data encryption, authenticate users, and protect privacy.


  • GeoTrust is one of the world’s largest digital certificate providers.
  • They offer a range of affordable SSL certificates behind a powerful security suite of SSL protection for small businesses as well as large enterprises.


  • RapidSSL is a leading certificate authority and SSL certificate reseller, enabling secure socket layer encryption.
  • They specialize in the fast issuance of low-cost and free SSL certificates and wildcard certificates.


Functions of SSL Certificate.


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