Secure Sockets Layer

The secure sockets layer (SSL) is a security protocol for transmitting data securely over the Internet. Developed by Netscape, it’s a commonly employed standard for verifying site identity and establishing an encrypted connection for the transmission of confidential information. SSL is also used to determine if error-free data was transmitted over the Web. Sockets are the connection end points which are used to send data transmissions between a network’s client and server programs. Web addresses with an SSL connection include the https prefix. When the URL starts with https, port number 443 is added into the data packet for a secure connection. A website must be on an SSL-supported server for the protocol to be enabled. Specific site pages can be require SSL access.

SSL Certificates on Websites

A browser and a Web server must establish the SSL connection before user data is encrypted. An SSL Certificate is needed when establishing a secure sockets layer connection. These SSL certificates use two-key data encryption. This system includes a public and private key. The private one will be known by the recipient. When a browser connects with a website secured with an SSL, it requests server identification. The server responds with its SSL certificate. The initial steps required for establishing a secure browser-server connection are called the handshake.

S-HTTP, TLS and SSL Security

The SSL protocol dictates link and the data encryption prior to transmission. Personal information is shared more securely when an online transaction is conducted on an SSL-secured website. Transport Layer Security, or TLS, is another security standard on the Web that uses certificate authentication. TLS evolved from SSL. Secure HTTP is a protocol for data transmission via the Web that sends individual messages securely. Proper protocols support secure online purchases and network security.

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