SSL Certificates — What are they?

 In SSL Certificate Series, Website Design

This topic is big, so we’re going to create a fun and exciting SSL Certificates SERIES! Ta-da! In the world of web design, SSL certificates are the cornerstone to your online security.

Trust makes all the difference in the world of online business. Whether you are an individual or a company, you should approach online security in the same way that you would approach physical security for your home or business.  It’s important to make people who visit your home, place of business, or website feel safe.  An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) creates a safe and private channel for you to communicate.  The effective implementation of SSL certificates and correct placement and use of trust marks are proven tools in the establishment of customer trust.  An investment in technology to protect customers and earn their trust is a critical success factor for any company that does business online or hosts an e-commerce website.

 An SSL certificate or Secure Socket layer is a digital computer file or small piece of code that has two specific functions:

  1. Authentication and Verification: The SSL certificate has information about the authenticity of certain details regarding the identity of a person, business or website, which it will display to visitors on your website when they click on the browser’s padlock symbol or trust mark, such as a Secured Seal. Criteria used by Certificate Authorities to determine if an SSL certificate should be issued is most stringent with an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate; making it the most trusted SSL certificate available.
  2. Data Encryption: The SSL certificate enables encryption. This means that the sensitive information exchanged via the website cannot be intercepted and read by anyone other than the intended recipient.  An SSL certificate is most reliable when issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). The CA has to follow very strict rules and policies about who may or may not receive an SSL certificate. When you have a valid SSL certificate from a trusted CA, there is a higher degree of trust by your customers, clients or partners.

Technology establishes a secure session link between the visitor’s web browser and your website so that all communications transmitted through this link are encrypted and are, therefore, secure.


Sammi Johnson
A native Montanan and a University of Montana graduate, Sammi Johnson is the Flathead Beacon’s marketing director. Sammi brings varied experience, energy and ideas to the Flathead Beacon brand and its products. With degrees in marketing and recreation management, her work experience led her to the Flathead Valley with her husband, Tyrel, and two small children, Savannah and Maddox. She loves to help her team create beautiful design, develop customized websites, see real results with varied marketing solutions and tell visual and complex stories through video production. She is motivated not only by her creative team and passionate clients but also by a funny and supportive family, deep well of friends and her love for the outdoors.
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