You’ve probably seen the acronym SSL thrown around a few times on the Internet while you’re browsing online stores. Secure Socket Layers (SSL) are a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. In other words, an SSL is what protects your valuable credit card and personal information from being hacked when you place an order on a website.
When you purchase a product from a website, your personal information goes between your computer and the company’s server. While your information is traveling between the two, it’s incredibly important to make sure it is secure and protected. Hackers and thieves look for floating information every minute. All it takes is one glimpse at your credit card information, and you’re in for a whirlwind of trouble.
SSLs are tools companies can use to encrypt information while it is floating between servers. Meaning, when you submit your card number on a SSL certified website, the information is instantly encrypted and completely indecipherable by third parties. Only the computer on the end of the connection can make sense of the inputted information. SSLs hide and disguise valuable numbers and details, completely protecting your details.
SSL Protocol remains completely invisible to customers. So how, as a consumer, can you be sure your information is protected? The next time you’re making a purchase, look up at the search bar in your browser. Typically, websites start with “http://” but if it’s a SSL certified website, there will be an s inside: https://. This s (which stands for “secure”) ensures your information will be properly and effectively encrypted. Lastly, you can also look for a padlock usually in the upper or lower right hand side of your screen, signifying a protected connection.
You are probably now wondering, how can I trust SSL certification and who does it? Licensed, unbiased companies called Certification Authorities have the capability to visit businesses and vigorously test them for an approved certification. The SSL certification ensures that they are not only properly encrypting consumer information, but that they are also a trustworthy organization with zero criminal activity. So the next time you see an “https,” it means that business is guaranteed to protect your purchase and information.
It is therefore incredibly unadvisable to purchase a product from a site that is not SSL certified. Your personal information will be thrust into the Internet, easily decipherable for thieves and scammers. Make sure to check your search bar and scan the screen for padlocks to ensure you’re on a safe website.