SSL Certification

What Does SSL Certification Mean?

SSL certification is the process of providing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates for secure online transactions. SSL certificates use an encryption technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a website user’s Web server and website visitor’s Web browser, enabling private data transmission without issues like tampering, forgery or eavesdropping.


SSL certification is often used for securing data transfer, credit card transactions and logins. It also is becoming a standard for secure browsing on social media sites.

Techopedia Explains SSL Certification

SSL certificates bind the name of a server, domain or host with an organization’s location and identity.

Key SSL certificate features include:

  • Encrypts each piece of data
  • Verifies the identity of a remote computer, or vice versa
  • Protects email messages
  • Permits encryption for data on disk
  • Permits safe communication over the Internet
  • Permits all key usage policies

A website’s SSL certificate is installed on its server. A SSL-certified website is indicated by one or more of the following:

  • A padlock icon displayed in the address bar
  • The address bar, displayed in green
  • The http:// changed to https://
  • The legally incorporated organization name of the website owner displayed in the address bar

SSL certificate details can be found on a SSL-protected site by clicking: padlock icon > More Information > View Certificate. Steps may vary by browser, but the certificate always provides the same information.

SSL certificates are issued by a SSL Certificate Authority.


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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.