Secure Sockets Layer Certificate

What Does Secure Sockets Layer Certificate Mean?

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a form of Web authentication used to validate website security and provide identity protection to website users. SSL certificates are issued by a certification authority (CA).

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Web browsers provide viewable SSL certificate information near the browser search bar. SSL validation is represented by a locked padlock icon and https prefix.

Techopedia Explains Secure Sockets Layer Certificate

Web security is essential for website safety. An SSL certificate ensures identity protection and tightens network security. Many e-commerce websites purchase SSL certificates to bolster customer and visitor trust.

During the SSL process, visitor data is encrypted. For example, a user visits a website. The website and user servers then exchange a handshake and determine an encryption format. Data is encrypted and unencrypted upon receipt by either server.

There are three types of SSL certificates:

  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate
  • Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate
  • Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.