Definition - What does Website Security Certificate mean?
A website security certificate is a validation and encryption tool, part of the HTTPS protocol, which secures and encrypts data going back and forth between the server and the client browser. It is issued by a trusted certification authority (CA) who verifies the identity of the owner of a website. The certificate then ensures the user that the website it is connected to is legitimate and that the connection is safe and secure.
Website security certificates act as a way of ensuring the identities of individual websites and giving its owners accountability for the privacy and security of all their users and visitors.
Websites that use security certificates are identifiable through the HTTPS address starter and the padlock icon that appears in the address bar, with the location differing according to the browser being used. When the padlock icon is clicked, it shows certificate details such as the identity of the website owner, the issuing CA, and the encryption and connection mechanisms being used.
Security certificates are therefore part of HTTPS for two purposes: to validate that the user is actually connected to the site that they think they are connected with and establish a way to encrypt the communications between the user and the website. The current standard for website security certificates is SSL certificates.