What Is a SSL Certificate?


Quick Answer

SSL certificates use small data files to digitally bind an organization's details with a cryptographic key, allowing secure connections between a browser and web server. SSL certificates are typically used for secure log-ins, credit card transactions and accessing protected data.

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Full Answer

Installing SSL activates the padlock on a site, changing the standard HTTP protocol to HTTPS, indicating the connections between the browser and server are secure. The security measures are visible on the browser's address bar, and any site lacking the padlock or showing a broken padlock does not use SSL. An SSL certificate can be viewed by clicking on the padlock on a secure site and choosing the View Certificate option.

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