What is SSL, TLS and HTTPS

A Comparison Between SSL, TLS, and HTTPS

Data protection is a priority that internet users crave. No one wants to access a website that leaves them vulnerable to losing their sensitive private data.  

SSL, TLS and HTTPS are security protocols that ensure internet users have their data secured when accessing the internet.

These protocols work in unique ways to ward off unauthorized intrusion by third parties.

If you have been wondering how they work, we have you covered. In this post, we will be looking at the basics of these protocols, what sets them apart and how they work.

What is SSL Protocol (Secure Sockets Layer)

SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard encryption technology that is used to encrypt an internet connection, ensuring that sensitive data sent between two systems isn’t intercepted, read and modified by cybercriminals.

It was developed by Netscape in 1995 to ensure privacy and data integrity in internet communications.

The two systems can be a server and a client (for example, an eCommerce website and browser) or server to server (for example, an application with personal information or with payroll information).

It does this by encrypting the data sent between systems. The SSL algorithm scrambles the data in transit, making it impossible to read by hackers.

Such protected data could be credit card details, personal texts or home addresses.

For SSL to be implemented on websites, they must have SSL certificates.

An SSL certificate is an identification tool that ascertains the veracity of the claim of one’s identity. An SSL certificate is stored and displayed on the website by its server.

Free SSL Certificates

A free SSL certificate also serves as a website’s public key, making the encryption of data in transit between two systems possible.

With SSL, a user’s device views the public key and uses it to set up secure encryption keys with the webserver.

Now, you can get SSL certificates free of charge with our business hosting plan to encrypt sensitive personal information on your website.

Related article: How to add Free SSL on WordPress website

What is TLS (Transport Layer Security)

TLS, short for Transport Layer Security, is a more secured cryptographic protocol for achieving end-to-end internet privacy and integrity. It works similarly to the Secure Sockets Layer.

Developed in 1999, Transport Layer Security was built with the aim of facilitating privacy and data security for systems over the internet.

The core purpose of TLS is to encrypt data between servers and web applications. In addition, it can be used to encrypt other communications like email, file transfers, messaging, DNS and voice over IP (VoIP).

The TLS, just like the SSL, is needed to establish high-level encryption of data and secure connections. Transport Layer Security make use of asymmetric encryption—the public and private key.

Once data is encrypted and authenticated, it is confirmed with a message authentication code (MAC). The recipient verifies the MAC to ensure the integrity of the data.

When activated to secure an internet session, it normally shows as a padlock icon in web browsers.

TLS, like SSL, does not secure data on end systems. It only ensures secure delivery of data over the internet, preventing it from being intercepted and modified by hackers.

Related article: Enable TLS 1.2 on Windows 7 devices

What is HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

Hypertext transfer protocol secure is the secure version of HTTP, which is a transfer protocol between a website and a computer.

It is used by websites that deal with the transfer of sensitive data from one system to another.

HTTP is not protected, making the website vulnerable to malicious attacks. HTTPS ensures that data is protected bi-directionally, on the server and client sides.

Only the client can decipher the information that is transferred from the server.

Before you visit a website, you must ensure that it is HTTPS-enabled. You can determine this by checking the website’s URL.

Get away from a website that is not HTTPS protected to avoid having your personal and sensitive information tampered with.

HTTPS cannot encrypt every detail of a website. For example, it does not encrypt port numbers and host addresses.

However, it still serves as a tool to hinder eavesdropping on information and manipulation.

Final Takeaways

By using secure connections such as TLS (Transport Layer Security), HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), you will be adding a strong layer of protection to your website.

Any website that houses sensitive information and prioritizes its protection to safeguard its users from losing it should consider having these secure connections.

Those who are interested in how to get an SSL certificate for their website are welcome to contact us for more details about security protocols to secure their customers’ personal information and online transactions.

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