What is an SSL certificate?

The SSL (secure socket layer) protocol is the Web standard for encrypting communications between users and Web sites. Data sent via an SSL connection is protected by encryption, a mechanism that prevents eavesdropping and tampering with any transmitted data. SSL provides businesses and consumers with the confidence that private data sent to a Web site, such as credit card numbers, are kept confidential. Web server certificates are required to initialize an SSL session. SSL certificates are issued by Certification Authorities (CA's), such as GeoTrust, which vouch for the information contained within the SSL certificate. Embedded within an SSL certificate is the fully-qualified domain name of your web site (server), such as www.yourdomain.com. It may also contain information about your business or organization, such as its legal name and the geographic location where your business is legally registered to conduct business.

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