What is SSL and TLS?

Even if you are not a web expert, you will probably have seen the terms SSL or TLS before. But what exactly do they mean?

TLS stands for  Transport Layer Security, whilst SSL means Secure Sockets Layer.

These ‘layers’  of security are internet security protocols. A protocol is a set of rules that end points in a network connection use when they communicate. We use these protocols to encrypt the connection between browser and website.

When you look at a webpage on your internet browser, your computer communicates with a server. The server will share information back to the browser to display the page. SSL/TLS encrypt this information, keeping any data exchanged secure.

Why should I care if my information is encrypted?

Many of us carry out transactions over the internet, like booking a holiday or buying car insurance.

Without internet security protocols, any sensitive information (like bank details) we submit can be intercepted. SSL/TLS are layers of protection that stop the data from being compromised.

Most popular websites across the internet use these protocols to keep our information safe.  Even social sites like Facebook do this to protect our personal information.

How do I know if a website is protected?

Protected websites begin with https://. They have a symbol of a padlock before the web address begins. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is another kind of security protocol that layers the former HTTP on top of SSL/TLS.

Google even favour websites that begin with https:// in their search rankings over sites that don’t in a bid to encourage more website owners to use it. They hope this will make the internet safer and more secure for everyone.

Find out more about SSL/TLS:

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