SSL certificates create an encrypted connection and established trust.
One of the most important components of online business is creating a trusted environment where potential customers feel confident in making purchases. SSL certificates create a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection. To ensure visitors their connection is secure, browsers provide visual cues, such as a lock icon or a green bar.
SSL certificates have a key pair: a public and a private key. These keys work together to establish an encrypted connection. The certificate also contains what is called the “subject,” which is the identity of the certificate/website owner.
The most important part of an SSL certificate is that it is digitally signed by a trusted CA, like DigiCert. Anyone can create a certificate, but browsers only trust certificates that come from an organization on their list of trusted CAs. Browsers come with a pre-installed list of trusted CAs, known as the Trusted Root CA store. In order to be added to the Trusted Root CA store and thus become a Certificate Authority, a company must comply with and be audited against security and authentication standards established by the browsers.
An SSL Certificate issued by a CA to an organization and its domain/website verifies that a trusted third party has authenticated that organization’s identity. Since the browser trusts the CA, the browser now trusts that organization’s identity too. The browser lets the user know that the website is secure, and the user can feel safe browsing the site and even entering their confidential information.