Secure Sockets Layer Certificate Authority

What Does Secure Sockets Layer Certificate Authority Mean?

A Secure Sockets Layer certificate authority (SSL certificate authority) is a party that maintains information on the status of SSL certificates. To establish a website as secure, a SSL certificate must be signed.


Techopedia Explains Secure Sockets Layer Certificate Authority

Using private and public keys, a Web browser requests a secure page and verifies that a server has an appropriate SSL digital certificate. The role of a SSL certificate authority is to provide objective information about these certificates, delivering effective security for a large number of Internet transactions.

Without a SSL certificate authority, most online businesses would cease to exist without the ability ensure the safety of customer against hackers and other Internet criminals.

As of January 2014, the most popular SSL certificate authorities are as follows:

  • Symantec Group
  • GoDaddy
  • Comodo
  • StartCom
  • GlobalSign

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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.