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What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)?

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a protocol designed to enhance the security of website traffic.  Normally, website traffic (beteween a server and your browser) is transfered as plain text and someone with access between your browser and the server can easily read the information that is sent and received.  SSL establishes an encrypted link between the server and the client so that the information transfered is no longer plain text, but encrypted data making it more difficult to view the information.

SSL is used where sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, social security numbers are transfered between the client and the server.

In order to use the SSL protocol, the server owner must aquire a Security Certificate from a provider such as VeriSign and provide additional information to them proving who they are.  This certificate is then installed in the server and users can access the site with a secure connection by using https:// instead of http://



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