What is an SSL certificate?

SSL certificates (Secure Sockets Layer certificates) are digital certificates that are installed on web servers to establish a secure encrypted connection between the server and the user's web browser. These certificates are used to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data transmissions on the Internet and to improve the security of online communication and transactions. They are a fundamental element for the implementation of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) on websites.

The main functions and features of SSL certificates are:

  1. Encryption: SSL certificates use encryption algorithms to encrypt data during transmission between the web server and the user's browser. This ensures that confidential information such as login data, credit card details and personal information is protected from unauthorized access.
  2. Authentication: SSL certificates make it possible to verify the identity of the website operator. This gives users confidence in the authenticity of the website and helps to prevent phishing and other fraud attempts.
  3. Data integrity: SSL certificates guarantee the integrity of the transmitted data by ensuring that no unauthorized changes or manipulations are made during transmission.
  4. Trust: Web browsers indicate to users that a website is secure when a valid SSL certificate is used. This is often indicated by a lock symbol or the word "Secure" in the browser's address bar.
  5. Validation levels: There are different types of SSL certificates that have different levels of validation. The most common are Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). The validation level influences which information about the certificate holder is displayed in the certificate details.

SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs) and are available in different versions and price categories. They have a limited period of validity, typically one year or more, and must be renewed after expiry.

Implementing SSL certificates on websites is now a best practice as it promotes the security of user data and the trustworthiness of the website. In addition, the lack of an SSL certificate can lead to warnings and a lower ranking in search engines, as they promote the prioritization of secure websites.

SSL Certificate - Projects

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