What is SSL Certificate?

Risk factors involving online transactions

You feel fear in providing your sensitive information like username, credit/debit card passwords while transacting online? Why not! If this information gets hacked then probably one would become bankrupt. If we visit a site in an environment which is not secured, then obviously, all our information/data is vulnerable to attack by hackers and can be used by them for purchase & criminal activities.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL (Secure socket layer) is a standard security technology that provides secure communications between a web server and a browser. SSL uses a combination of public key and private key encryption to protect sensitive information like credit card numbers, login credentials, email addresses, etc. Furthermore, HTTPS, padlock and green address bar ensure users for a safe website browsing and online transactions.

ssl encryption

Fig: SSL Encryption process


  1. The server sends an unencrypted public key to the Web browser
  2. The Web browser creates a session key and encrypts it with the Public key, which is then send back to the Web server
  3. The web server decrypts this using one of its private keys. The secure connection is established between Web browser and server.

Only intended participants know the encrypted session key. The threat of an attack from outside hackers or malware is negligible.

Types of SSL certificates

Generally, the classification of SSL certificate depends upon the requirement of the organization. The SSL certificates are classified in the following categories:

Domain Validated SSL certificates

While this certificate provides encryption to the web page, you cannot be sure who is truly at the receiving end of that information. The verification of registered owner of the domain name is required only. Submission of company documents is not required. Generally issued almost in few minutes.

Organization validated certificate

Encryption is provided to the host environment. Verification of Organization address & Location is required along with the registered owner of the domain name. Generally, takes few days.

Extended validation certificate

This is the highest security certificate available. This certification requires thorough vetting of the organization. The verification includes the physical and operational existence of organization as well. Generally, takes several weeks to few months

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