What is SSL, TLS and HTTPS?

Security has become a must-have feature that simply cannot be compromised. Good protection costs money, but it is an investment that totally justifies the expense. Measures like Sitelock Website Security and Comodo SSL certificate ensure that your website stays safe from all online threats. Nowadays, most websites enjoy SSL security that protects the communication to and from the server in addition to assuring its users of the website’s high safety standards.

SSL is a website security certificate that helps keep your website’s communication safe by encrypting it while in transit. Most hosting plans in India bundle SSL certificates as a part of their hosting plan. TLS is an evolution of SSL that works almost in the same way as SSL. HTTPS is a secure evolution of HTTP that allows SSL or TLS-enabled websites to establish a secure connection with servers. 

Here’s a close look at what SSL, TLS and HTTPS are.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’. It is a proven technology that offers a host of benefits for your business website, including keeping a connection secure and protecting data in transit. It secures your data against illegal interception and prevents it from being misused. An SSL certificate in India is readily bundled with web hosting plans. SSL uses an encryption algorithm to scramble the data while it stays in transit. The data is then decrypted in the user’s browser with a pre-designated decryption key. It protects your users’ sensitive data such as credit card numbers, addresses or other financial details from falling into the wrong hands.

You can check out the following video to know the different types of SSL Certificates – 

What is TLS?

TLS or ‘Transport Layer Security’ is an evolved and more secure version of SSL. It does exactly what SSL does and encrypts data with up to 256-bit encryption. It also provides authentication to ensure that you’re sending information to a trusted server and not to a phishing attempt to try and steal information.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it is a visual indication of the security provided by an SSL/TLS certificate. Whenever a website displays HTTPS in the browser’s address bar, it is almost always accompanied by a lock symbol. This is meant to reassure users that the website they are currently browsing is safe from unwanted visitors. Users can click on the lock symbol in the address bar to view the certificate details of the website’s SSL/TLS security.

How does SSL/TLS work?

SSL works on securing your communication in the following steps.

  • SSL initiates the SSL handshake after the TCP connection is established.
  • The server sends a copy of its certificate to the user’s browser with specifications that include the SSL’s version number and the encryption method used.
  • The user’s browser checks the certificate’s validity and starts a secure session by selecting the highest level of encryption supported by the browser as well as the server. The methods used to start these secure sessions are known as Cipher Suites.
  • SSL/TLS protocols include an authentication process that uses Message Authentication Codes (MAC) to ensure the highest integrity and authenticity of the messages being sent.

When it comes to website security, it is better to be safe than sorry. SSL certificates give you the extra peace of mind.

David Curry

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