Oftentimes, people see a bunch of abbreviations online and have no idea what they stand for. They don't know whether they apply to them or not, let alone whether they are using them in their everyday lives. When you see the terms SSL, TLS and HTTPS, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? If you’ve never seen these terms before, you probably don't know what they can do for you.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
SSL was created by Netscape Communications Corporation back in 1994. It was designed to create a secure Internet communication via the Web. It is a standard protocol that encrypts communication between your browser and the server. It allows for private information like social security numbers, credit card details, and login credentials to be transferred easily over the Internet.
SSL utilizes two keys:
- Public keys that are knowable by everyone.
- Private keys known only by the person receiving the message.
The two keys work together to form an encrypted connection via the Web.
Being able to connect to a specific port requires a secure connection. As an example, you would use port 442 for HTTPS, 995 for secure POP, 993 for secure IMAP and so on. All of these ports are already set up on the server. They are ready to negotiate secure connections first, then they will proceed to do whatever else you need after that.
TLS (Transport Layer Security)
TLS is a type of protocol allowing communication between the Internet and client-server applications. It forms a secure communication via the Web for email, data transfers, and faxing.
TLS has two distinct layers:
- TLS Record Protocol establishes a secure connection with encryption methods like data encryption standard.
- TLS Handshake Protocol allows authentication for the servers and clients together. Before data can be exchanged, it has to convert cryptographic keys and algorithms.
This particular type of connection begins by contacting the server. Then, it switches to a secured method of communication after the initial handshake is successful. In the event the handshake fails, the connection will be terminated. One of the best examples of this is using the command STARTTLS that is used for an outbound email connection.
- There are a number of benefits to using an SSL or TLS connection, such as:
- Secured communication between the server and the browser
- Ensured safety of your sensitive information
- Encrypted user and website info
- SEO benefits when conducting Google searches
- Protection for your website from cyber attacks
- A boost to your website's reputation online
- Security for your software, documents and applications
HTTPS (Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol)
HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP. This ensures that any communication sent online is secured by the SSL/TLS connection. Any ongoing communication between the server and browser will be encrypted for your safety. It allows you to evaluate how secure the environment is. If you are looking to establish an HTTPS connection, you will have to first purchase an SSL certificate from someone you can trust. You don't want to purchase a certificate from just anyone. Look for a trusted certificate authority. Then, you need to install it on the proper server.
HTTPS is the code-text that is written using standard HTTPS format and secured with SSL/TLS to encrypt the HTTP text and ensure the communication is protected at all times.
There are a number of reasons to use an HTTPS connection:
- It helps to establish a secure communication between server and browser
- It secures websites against tampering activities or eavesdropping
- It protects users from man-in-the-middle attacks
- It is used worldwide by business of all sizes to process secure payment transactions
- It is used by banking, healthcare, e-commerce, social media and government industries
Regardless of what your situation might be, you need to look into the benefits of implementing SSL, HTTPS and TLS secure connections in your business. You never know just how beneficial these secure methods are until you have to use them.