What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do I Need One?

SSL used to be imporant but now,
It's required by google.

SSL sertificate image


Every website should have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate to guarantee the secure transmission of sensitive information. We hear on the news quite often about unauthorized access to private information held by very large companies. The information sought after is most often social security numbers, credit card information, bank accounts, addresses, usernames, passwords, etc. Once this information is obtained, it can be sold on the dark web, which allows unauthorized access to your credit, bank accounts and identity information. Large security breaches of this type are generally achieved through submission of a script (virus) that works its way into the corporate database where the sensitive information is stored.

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So, what does this have to do with me and why do I need an SSL Certificate to protect sensitive information submitted on my website? The big difference in the database breaches of large corporations is that your website is not where the sensitive data is stored. The information gathered through your website is transmitted to a secure database managed by a third-party company (Google for example). Any website with the capability to gather private information is legally required to have an SSL Certificate to ensure the safe transmission of the data to the hosted server, or database. An SSL Certificate ensures the safe transmission of this data to its storage destination.

How Does an SSL Certificate work?

SSL Certificates are data files that bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s data. When an SSL Certificate is installed on a webserver, the padlock is activated allowing secure connections from a web server to a browser. SSL Certificates are used to secure credit card transactions, data transfers and logins, and securing browsing of social media sites. The SSL Certificate binds together a domain name, server name or host name, a company name and location. SSL’s are needed to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once established, web traffic between the server and the browser are secure.

SSL Certificates use public key cryptography. This cryptography uses two keys of randomly generated numbers, a private key and a public key. A public key is known to your server and is public domain. It is used to encrypt a message sent from your website to a server and will be locked with the server’s public key. The message can only be unlocked with the server’s private key. The server is the only one with the private key and is the only one that can unlock the message sent from the website. Hackers are unable to read intercepted messages without the private code.

Why are SSL Certificates needed?

SSL Certificates not only protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, etc., it also (1.) increases Google rankings of your site on its search engine, (2.) builds/enhances your customer or patient’s trust, and (3.) improves the conversion rate of visitors to your website. Thrasker understands the importance of secure data collection through years of experience in web development for every industry. Your security and the trust of your customer is our top priority!