How does it Work?

Unlike displaying a regular web page, when a person requests a secured web page (https://), the browser and the server must go through a series of requests and acknowledgements, which take place automatically. Here is a brief outline of what happens:

  • You enter a URL such as in your browser window. The https indicates that you want your browser to initiate a secure session with the server
  • The server responds by sending the site's certificate
  • The browser checks the certificate information for validity
  • The browser then creates a session key, which is encrypted with the server's public key, and sends it to the server
  • The server then decrypts this information using it's private key

Both the browser and server are now using the same secret session key, and the little lock icon will appear on your browser window. All further information sent between the browser and the server will be automatically encrypted, as long as you continue using the https:// protocol.

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