SSL certificate definition

SSL certificate

SSL certificates allow websites to switch to the more secure HTTPS protocol. A website’s origin server hosts an SSL certificate. SSL certificates enable SSL/TLS encryption and contain the website’s public key and identification. This file is used by devices trying to communicate with the origin server to obtain its public key and verify its identity. The private key is hidden.


SSL encrypts Internet traffic and verifies server identity. HTTPS sites employ SSL/TLS. SSL? TLS: discovery.

SSL certificates contain what information?

  • SSL certificates
  • certificate-issued domain name
  • whom it was issued to
  • Who issued it?
  • Digital certificate signature
  • Sub domains
  • Date issued
  • Certificate expiration
  • Private key (the private key is kept secret)

SSL’s public and private keys are lengthy character strings used to encrypt and sign data. The public key can only decode the private key and vice versa. For more info visit

Why are SSL certificates important?

A website needs an SSL certificate to encrypt user data, authenticate ownership, prevent fraudulent versions, and win user trust.

SSL certificates’ public-private key pairing enables SSL/TLS encryption. Web browsers receive a server’s SSL certificate to get the TLS public key.

SSL certificates validate a client’s connection to the domain-owning server. This prevents attacks like domain spoofing.

HTTPS requires a business SSL certificate. HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted by SSL/TLS.

HTTPS makes sites more trustworthy by safeguarding user data in transit. Many consumers won’t notice the difference between http:// and https://, but most browsers mark HTTP sites as “not secure” to encourage upgrading to HTTPS and boost security.

How is an SSL certificate obtained?

Domains need a certificate authority for a valid SSL certificate (CA). A CA is a third-party entity that issues SSL certificates. The CA digitally signs the certificate with their private key so clients can validate it. Most CAs charge for SSL certificate issuance.

Once issued, the certificate must be installed on the website’s origin server. Web hosting firms handle this for site owners. Once it’s turned on the origin server, the website can load over HTTPS, and all traffic is encrypted and safe.

Self-signed SSL certificate

Anyone can create an SSL certificate by generating a public-private key pair and including the required information. Self-signed certificates employ the website’s private key instead of a CA’s digital signature.

With self-signed certificates, no other authority verifies the origin server’s identity. Self-signed certificates aren’t trusted, so browsers may flag https://sites as “not secure.” They may potentially disconnect, preventing the website from loading.

Free SSL certificates?

Cloud flare launched Universal SSL in September 2014, the first free SSL/TLS service. Free SSL shares SSL certificates among customer domains. Cloud flare offers enterprise SSL certificates.

Domain owners must sign up with Cloud flare and enable SSL in their settings to acquire a free SSL certificate. This article explains Cloud flare’s SSL setup. The Cloud flares Diagnostic Center checks website SSL encryption.

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