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What is SSL/TLS and HTTPS?

Digital and website security is a top priority of most e-commerce businesses. For this reason, web hosting providers provide several security measures and features to protect a website from cyber-attacks and online threats. These measures include firewalls, SSL certificates, such as the popular Comodo SSL certificates, and more.

Today, we shall see what SSL, TLS, and HTTPS is and how they all are related together.

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a type of security measure that allows a secure and encrypted connection between the user’s web browser and the website. This security measure prevents and avoids unauthorized third-party users or hackers from accessing or changing any data you provide or send over to the internet.

It was primarily created for protecting and securing connections between online business websites and their customers. But with time and technological advancements, an updated protocol, TLS, was released in 1999 that completely replaced the SSL certificate as the standard security certificate.

What is TLS?

TLS and SSL are often mentioned interchangeably and used simultaneously, but there is a difference between these two protocols.

TLS or Transport Layer Security is similar to SSL and ensures data confidentiality and privacy similar to SSL, but it is more secure than SSL. It is a cryptographic protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and integrity over networks effectively. This protocol is essentially used in email, web browsing, instant messaging, and more.

TLS supports much stronger encryption, secure cyber suites and algorithms as it was created to address and overcome known SSL vulnerabilities.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS offers a much better and secure client/server model solution and is a safe HTTP extension. However, HTTP lacks authentication and data encryption, allowing anyone on the web to access the transmitted data, including passwords and confidential banking details.

HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure eliminates this issue by creating and ensuring a secure client-server network connection. This protects customer’s sensitive and personal data and secure websites from data theft, eavesdropping, and tampering.

How is SSL/TLS related to HTTPS?

Setting up an SSL certificate on a website configures it to transmit data and information through HTTPS. You cannot use these two technologies without each other, as they go and work hand-in-hand.

Websites URLs you put in the search engine are either preceded by HTTP or HTTPS. And these protocols determine how the data you receive or send is transmitted. So, to identify if a website uses an SSL security certificate or not, you can check their website’s URL and see if it is preceded with HTTPS or HTTP. HTTPS connections cannot work, or websites cannot use HTTPS without an SSL certificate.

How does SSL/TLS work?

SSL/TLS certificates digitally tie a cryptographic key to an organization’s identifying proof or information. They have private, public, and session keys for each individual secure session. This process encrypts the data transfer and ensures websites and customers that no third-party user can access or modify this data.

When a user navigates to a secure or SSL-secured website, the website server and user’s browser make a connection. The private and public keys create a session key in the initial connection, which encrypts or decrypts the transferred data. The session key remains valid for some time and only during that particular session.

You can examine if a website uses an SSL or not by checking the green bar or the padlock icon beside the website’s URL.

Summing Up

SSL/TLS are important security certificates mandated by Google for every website. They offer a secure client-server connection and make your website look credible and trustworthy to your customers. They also help your website perform better at SEO, increasing its visibility and search engine ranking. Therefore, many businesses buy SSL certificates for their websites.

If you wish for a trustworthy and credible website, you must definitely buy SSL certificates for your business website.