SSL

Protocols

Information and communication on the Internet travel thru specific protocols, called ports. Here are some examples:

  • Port 80 is used when you view a web site (http protocol)
  • Port 25 is used to send e-mail (smtp protocol)
  • Port 21 is used to upload files to your web site (ftp protocol)
  • Port 443 is used for sending secured web pages encrypted using the SSL (secured socket layer) protocol

How do we access these protocols?

Normally, we are not aware that we are using a specific port number. But we indicate the protocol by the URL we enter

  • http://www.mysite.com indicates to use the http protocol (port 80)
  • ftp://ftp.mysite.com indicates to use the ftp protocol (port 21)
  • https://www.mysite.com indicates to use the SSL protocol (port 443)

What does using SSL do for me?

Operating a secure server (SSL) allows you to conduct e-commerce or other sensitive exchanges of data with your visitors in a way that will hopefully make them feel more comfortable doing business with you.

SSL provides two basic ingredients of security:

  • Safe Passage of Information: Your data cannot (we hope) be decoded by any party that might intercept the communications.
  • Server Authentication: If your server is granted a certificate by a CA (Certificate Authority), your customer's can protect themselves from being directed to another server that is pretending to be yours by checking the contents of the certificate.

Other information:

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