Have you noticed that some URLs start with “http://” while others start with “https://”?

But why some URLs have extra “s”, and what does it mean?

The technology that powers that extra “s” is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

That extra “s” means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted. Any data you enter is safely shared with that website.

Browsers provide visual cues, such as a lock icon or a green bar when an SSL certificate is in place. The SSL certificate’s job is to initiate secure sessions with the user’s browser via the secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol.

SSL.com defines Secure Sockets Layer or SSL as: “the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.”

SSL certificates are an essential component of the data encryption process that makes internet transactions secure. They are digital passports that provide authentication to protect the confidentiality and integrity of website communication with browsers.

Organizations need to keep customer information private and secure. Customers need to be confident that sensitive information such as a credit card number is going to a legitimate online business.

If you are dealing with private customer information such as their credit cards, there you need to have your website secured.

This information could be anything from details on a bank transaction, to the high-level information you enter to register for an offer. In hacker lingo, this “interception” is often referred to as a “man-in-the-middle attack.”

A HubSpot blog defines how a hacker can steal your data:

The actual attack can happen in a number of ways, but one of the most common is this: A hacker places a small, undetected listening program on the server hosting a website. That program waits in the background until a visitor starts typing information on the website, and it will activate to start capturing the information and then send it back to the hacker.

As organizations provide more and more services and transactions online, security becomes a top priority. More and more hacking incidents and data theft have made it a necessity now to obtain an SSL certificate.

When you visit a website that’s encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the web server, look at the SSL certificate, and then bind together your browser and the server in a very fast and safe manner.

This binding connection is secure so that hackers can rarely access what you type into your browser.

Better search rankings are the benchmark of website’s online reputation. And, getting SSL certification has a major and direct impact on this indicator.

SSL encryption acts as a visual indicator for the consumers to believe in the authenticity/security of the website and share their information on it.

To comply with the Payments Card Industry (PCI) compliance norms, an online business must have at least 128 bit SSL certificate with proper encryption. The PCI standards also make it mandatory to acquire the SSL certificate from a trusted source.

A website must use the right strength of encryption for it to be able to take card payments. It is now also compulsory for the website to provide a private connection on any page that requires customers to enter personal information.

Organizations can leverage these safety features to convert the visitors into customers by gaining their trust as a secure place to share information on.

This has become a major step in boosting the business revenues and would be a decisive indicator in future where online visitors would choose to interact with secured websites only.


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