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  Computers > Computer technologies > Security > SSL certificates
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What is SSL? And how can I use it?

What is SSL? And how can I use it?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. What this means in plain language is that when a Internet Browser connects to a server connected to the internet the transfer of data between the browser and the server is encrypted. The data is encrypted so no one who is possibly intercepting the data transfer between the two can read it. So while a person can intercept the data transfer they won’t be able to read the data because it will be gibberish to them.

To use SSL there must be several requirements met first. The first requirment is that the Internet Browser be cabable of handling SSL communications. This generally isn’t a problem with most of the commercially available browsers nowdays. The second requirement is that the server must be set up with a certificate which allows SSL communications. This SSL certificate is set up by the web site owner. SSL encryption comes in two versions 56-bit encryption and 128-bit encryption. The higher the number the better the encryption.

So where can you get a SSL certificate for a web site? You can get them in several places. First, the web site can just create their own certificate. There is nothing wrong with doing so, but in doing so when a person visits the web site the visitor might get a warning that the certificate isn’t trusted. This is because the person just created it and did not go through one of the commercial entities providing certificates, which are considered trusted. If a web site owner gets the certificate from a commercial entity (for a cost of course) these entities will verify the site owner and the warning will not generally appear.

            
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1. MIDP Application Security 2: Understanding SSL and TLS
2. How do I generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for my web server?
3. What is SSL?
4. Where should I get my SSL Certificate?
5. RSA Security and GeoTrust Announce Strategic Partnership to Offer Digital Certificate Solutions
6. Internet Explorer, SSL and binary data
7. Introduction to SSL certificates
8. SSL toolkit flaw poses risk
9. What is SSL (the "little padlock")?
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