What is SSL Certificate? You might have heard that term, but you aren’t sure what it is mean.
By the end of this article you’ll have a basic understanding of SSL certificates and the relationship between it and your privacy secure from hackers.
After reading this article, will find the answers of below questions:
- What is SSL?
- Is there a difference between SSL & TLS certificates?
- What is an SSL certificate?
- How does these SSL/TLS certificates work?
- Why is SSL/TLS Certificate important?
- What the required action to save the privacy?
- Is SSL still up to date?
- What is a self-signed SSL certificate?
“In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”Al Gore – American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States
1. What is an SSL?
SSL Certificate is an abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer.
It’s a standard technology for securing an Internet connection, by encrypting data sent between a website and a browser (or between two servers).
As a result it ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser are private.
So it prevents hackers from seeing or stealing any information transmitted, including personal or financial data.
SSL is a security protocol, The protocols describe how algorithms should be used.
The SSL protocol defines the cryptographic variables for both the link and the data transferred.
For example, an SSL certificate protects the personal data of visitors who sign up for monthly newsletter, and the credit card information of customers who make online purchases.
Therefore, all browsers have the ability to interact with secured web servers using the SSL protocol.
“Not to interfere in the privacy of others is a duty on you, not generosity on you”Unknown
2. Is there a difference between SSL & TLS certificate?
Netscape was first developer of SSL in 1995.
For the purpose of ensuring privacy, authentication, and data integrity in internet communications.
After many iterations of SSL, reached to more secure than the previous one. In 1999 SSL was updated by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to become TLS, which still used till now.
No drastic differences between SSL Final Edition (3.0) and TLS First Edition; The name just change to indicate a change in ownership.
Since the two are closely related, the terms are often used interchangeably. Some people still use SSL to refer to TLS, while others use the term “SSL/TLS encryption” because SSL still has a lot of name recognition.
“If we don’t act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become victims of identity theft”Bill Nelson – American attorney and politician
3. What’s the meaning of SSL certificate?
SSL certificates are enable websites to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, and to be more secure.
It’s a data file hosted on the website’s originating server. It’s make SSL / TLS encryption possible, and contain the website’s public key and identity, along with related information.
Devices trying to contact the asset server, will refer to this file to obtain the public key, and verify the server’s identity.
The private key is kept confidential and secure.
“Defining privacy: It is that area of a person’s life that people enjoy violating, whenever they have the opportunity”Amr Sobhy – Egyptian information activist
4. How does these SSL/TLS certificates work?
For providing high degree of privacy, SSL Certificate builds a secure, encrypted connection between the visitor’s browser and the web server.
So, anyone tries to intercept this data, will only see a garbled mix of characters that is nearly impossible to decrypt.
To establish the secure session, the SSL “handshake” process occurs behind the scenes, without interrupting the customer’s shopping or browsing experience.
Think of the certificate as a lock-box that secures valuables (customer information) as it travels across the internet from the visitor to the website.
SSL Certificate is based on a two-key, private and public encryption scheme.
To be clear, for example, just imagine that you have a box that you use to store valuables. This box is open with a specific key, and it is closed with a completely different key.
This is exactly what is done in the SSL encryption system, as there are two keys, namely:
4.1 The private key for the SSL certificate:
This key is responsible for decrypting the data (the key that opens the box), and this key is only present on the site’s server, it is hidden and is almost impossible to obtain.
4.2 The public key for the SSL Certificate:
This key is the one used to encrypt information, and it is called public because the browser gets it by simply entering any website that uses the HTTPS protocol (the key that closes the box).
“Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds”John Perry Barlow – American poet and essayist
5. Why is SSL/TLS Certificate important?
At normal, data on the web is sent in plain text that anyone could read if intercepted the message.
For example, when you visit a page with a form to fill out and submit, a hacker can intercept the information on an insecure website.
This information can be details about a bank transaction, to an email entered to register for an offer. In hacker parlance, this “interception” is often referred to as a “man in the middle attack”.
Are you wondering how the attacks happen?!
Here’s one of the most common methods: A hacker places a small, undetected spyware on the server hosting the website. This spyware waits in the background for the visitor to start typing information on the website, and it will be activated to start capturing the information and then sending it back to the hacker.
A little scary, isn’t it?
SSL was created to correct this problem and protect user privacy By encrypting any data that travels between the user and the web server.
SSL ensures that anyone intercepting the data can only see a mixed mess of characters.
The consumer credit card number is now secure, and can only be seen by the shopping site, where they entered it.
SSL also stops certain types of cyber-attacks, it authenticates web servers, which is important because attackers will often try to create fake websites to trick users and steal data.
It also prevents attackers from tampering with data while it is in transit.
“Instead of intruding into other people’s privacy, try intruding into the dark areas of your mind, ones that have not yet had the blessing of understanding”Ahmed Khaled Tawfik – Egyptian author and a physician
6. How I can securing my privacy?
When you browse any website on the Internet, there are only two things that you have, to make sure that the process of exchanging information between you and this website is safe:
6.1 First step:
Make sure that the you are actually visiting the required website, and isn’t a fake copy for trying to steal your data. You can sure of this, by clicking on the links from reliable sources.
6.2 Second Step:
You have to make sure that the information you share with this website can’t be spied.
This is the role of the https:// protocol, or rather the role of the SSL certificate.
This certificate works to ensure that the owner of any site actually owns it, and then encrypts the information that is exchanged with that site, so that it is safe.
In short, this protocol is stored on the site’s server to be sent to the browser upon request and the browser can understand this encryption and thus makes to be sure that this site is safe.
“Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet”Gary Kovacs – American CEO and Managing director leading AVG
7. Are SSL/TLS certificate still up to date?
SSL 3.0 is last update was in 1996 and is now deprecated.
There are several known vulnerabilities in SSL and security experts recommend that stop using it.
Most of web browsers no longer support SSL at all.
TLS is the updated encryption protocol that is still being implemented over the internet.
Although many people still refer to it as “SSL encryption”. This can be a source of confusion for someone shopping for security solutions.
The truth is any vendor that offers “SSL” these days definitely offers TLS protection, which has been the industry standard for over 20 years.
However, since many people are still searching for “SSL Protection,” the term still appears prominently on many product pages.
“Respecting the privacy of others is one of the most important things that express the extent of human civilization, his values in life, and the level of the environment in which he lives”Hala Kazem – Emirati life coach -Social Entrepreneur
8. What is a self-signed SSL / TLS certificate?
Technically, anyone can create their own SSL certificate, by creating a public and private key association and including all information mentioned above.
These certificates are called self-signed certificates because the digital signature used rather than from a certification authority, will be the website’s private key.
But with self-signed certificates, there is no outside authority to verify that the original server is the one it pretends to be.
But be careful, self-signed certificates aren’t considered trustworthy by browsers and may still mark sites as “unsafe” despite the https:// URL.
They can also terminate the connection completely and blocking the website from loading.
“I think privacy is valuable. You don’t have to share everything, and it’s healthy to occasionally hit the pause button and ask yourself if you’re oversharing. But at the end of the day, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide”Ashton Kutcher – American actor and producer
In conclusion, when shopping online or sharing our personal data. So should be assure that the website is have valid SSL certificate. As per, SSL certificate is working to save our privacy and sensitive data.
References: Godaddy / Digicert / Cloudflare / Websecurity / Hubspot / Servawy / Afhmseo / Alrab7on / Arabtechnologie
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