Have you ever come across a website with a message saying that the connection is not secure? This warning appears on all pages using the HTTP protocol because it is incapable of providing a secure connection. This means that the data transmitted to and from the website you are trying to access has a greater possibility of being intercepted by hackers. The solution to this problem is a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL.

What is an SSL/TLS?

SSL is an encryption-based internet security protocol developed by Netscape in 1995 that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. In 1999, Transport Layer Security (TLS) became the successor protocol to SSL. It works in much the same way as SSL, using encryption to protect the transfer of data and information.

How does an SSL/TLS work?

To provide a high degree of security, SSL encrypts data transmitted across the web. This means that anyone who tries to intercept this data when you are submitting your username and password will only see a garbled mix of numbers, letters, and special characters that is nearly impossible to decrypt.

SSL initiates an authentication process called a handshake between two communicating devices, like your computer and the website server, to ensure that both devices are really who they claim to be. Then it digitally signs data in order to provide data integrity, verifying that the data is not tampered with before reaching its intended recipient.

How can a business get an SSL/TLS?

Agencies like That Guy Sketch offers free SSL certificates for any business that gets a website built by them. Websites created with online builders like Squarespace or WordPress-managed plans offer SSL. There are also free SSL certificate providers like Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt. Websites may need to set up an SSL certificate on their origin server as well.

More about SSL/TLS

In conclusion, SSL/TLS is an essential component for any website that processes sensitive information. It encrypts data transmission across the web and ensures that both communicating devices are who they claim to be. SSL/TLS is readily available through online builders and free certificate providers, so there is no excuse for websites to not take the necessary steps to secure their users’ information.