Understanding the Functions and Importance of SSL Encryption in 2023 & Beyond
Given how constantly we use the internet daily, familiarity with its inner workings is no longer optional. We are connected to our laptops and phones at all times. The internet has made it possible for us to perform routine administrative activities and have instantaneous access to relevant information. By doing so, we submit data to gain access to other resources. For example, when we shop online, we often have to provide personal information, such as our credit card number and expiration date.
Like the good side of the internet, there is also the wrong side. This is why cyber security is used to combat these online crimes. The online space has also put measures to ensure that cybercrime is limited and people’s information is kept safe. One such measure is the use of SSL encryption. This article highlights what SSL is, its functions, and its importance in today’s world.
What Is SSL Encryption?
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol for establishing an encrypted link between a browser and a server. Simply put, it’s a system for keeping your online communications private and safe. SSL was designed to ensure the safety of transmitting private information like passwords, credit card numbers, and other login credentials.
What is The Function of SSL Encryption?
When SSL Encryption is used, data sent between your browser and the server is encrypted. This ensures that all information passed between these two platforms cannot be read in raw form.
SSL encryption is for example crucial to payment gateways, bank apps, and entertainment platforms, such as online casinos. These platforms use the latest encryption to ensure that any unauthorized third party does not get access to the client’s personal and financial details. In addition to SSL, some casinos utilize extra security features like 2-step verification, bot blocking, and data backup to ensure that players enjoy the best online casino bonus and games on the site.
However, without an SSL, any eavesdropper could see every information you send or receive. This will also include all your sensitive data like credit card details, social security numbers, passwords, etc.
How Does an SSL Certificate Work?
SSL works using asymmetric and symmetric encryption to secure data transmissions.
Asymmetric encryption works using two keys. There is the public key, and there is the private key. Only the private key may decrypt when a communication is encrypted with the public key. This also works the other way around. Only the public key can decrypt when a communication is encrypted with the private key.
In symmetric encryption, the message is encrypted and decrypted using the same set of keys.
Here’s a rundown of the steps involved in those encryption methods to help you better grasp how they function:
- First, a website owner will have to install an SSL certificate they purchased from a Certificate Authority (CA).
- A secure sockets layer (SSL) connection is established between the user’s browser and the server as they move about the site.
- The browser initiates the SSL handshake by requesting the server’s SSL certificate and public key.
- After the web server’s certificate has been validated, the browser will exchange its private key for the server’s public key to generate a symmetric session key.
- This symmetric key is then used to encrypt any messages between the two parties. This session-specific key will expire when some time has passed.
- When SSL is activated, data exchanged via the website is encrypted and protected. Its transmissions can no longer be eavesdropped on by unauthorized persons.
Why is SSL Important?
One primary importance of SSL is its protection of your data. Without SSL, transmitting sensitive data like a Social Security number over the internet would result in an unsecured, plain text transmission of such data.
SSL also protects your privacy when you make an online purchase or enter sensitive information like your credit card details. That’s why it’s so essential for a website to earn its visitors’ trust.
- It also facilitates the following guidelines for data security on websites:
- It uses authentication to ensure that the server you are connecting to is what you expect it to be.
- It uses encryption to secure and conceal your data transfers.
It also ensures data integrity, guaranteeing that all sent information has not been altered in transit.
How to Tell if a Site Is Using SSL
While you are shielded from the technical intricacies of the SSL protocol, most browsers will indicate an SSL-encrypted site. This is shown with a lock icon or another signifier in the address bar. If you are using an SSL-encrypted site, this will show you.
All you need to do to check is click the lock on your browser’s address bar. It will reveal all the information about the SSL certificate.
Cybercriminals’ ingenuity expands alongside the sophistication of the internet and its associated technologies. Therefore, websites and users must take advantage of the existing security measures. For example, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption ensures that data transmissions are secure, which is especially critical when dealing with sensitive personal and financial information.
There are several pluses for the website owner when SSL certificates are activated. Not only can you get the necessary certifications quickly and easily in the modern world, but doing so also sends a message to your customers that you take internet security seriously, which goes a long way toward earning their trust.