How does an SSL certificate work?
An SSL certificate ensures safe, easy, and convenient Internet shopping.
Once an Internet user enters a secure area — by entering credit card
information, e-mail address, or other personal data, for example — the
shopping site's SSL certificate enables the browser and Web server to build
a secure, encrypted connection. The SSL "handshake" process, which
establishes the secure session, takes place discreetly behind the scene
without interrupting the consumer's shopping experience. A "padlock" icon in
the browser's status bar and the "https://" prefix in the URL are the only
visible indications of a secure session in progress.
By contrast, if a user attempts to submit personal information to an
unsecured Web site (i.e., a site that is not protected with a valid SSL
certificate), the browser's built-in security mechanism triggers a warning
to the user, reminding him/her that the site is not secure and that
sensitive data might be intercepted by third parties. Faced with such a
warning most Internet users likely will look elsewhere to make a purchase.
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