Online security is a crucial aspect to any website but, as it is often done behind the scenes, it can be hard to identify how good any given site’s security is. Whether you’re inspecting your own site, or simply want to know more about an online business before you trust it – there is at least one simple way to measure a company’s protection: the SSL checker.
What is SSL?
Put simply, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and represents a method of encryption. By encrypting the data before it is sent, the ‘line’ between your computer and the server/website you’re accessing isn’t easy to crack. The data is sent as an encryption, usually around 128 or 256-bit.
As such, SSL prevents people from simply hacking into this data stream and stealing the data. This is important, as it removes any easy ways for opportunistic data thieves to steal your information. SSL is provided by companies such as Thawte and comes in a variety of different forms, although many businesses use the better Extended Validation, known as SSL EV.
If SSL is present, most web browsers will represent this with a padlock symbol. Additionally, the start of the URL should now be HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) rather than just HTTP. If the certificate is for an SSL EV, this will all be green. Most common web browsers will act as a quick, simple SSL Checker in this regard, letting you know what the current situation is with a given page.
Why Should You Check?
Your data only needs to be taken once for the damage to be done. As such, you simply shouldn’t take risks and should never trust a website that doesn’t have the best SSL. Many people already favour SSL EV exclusively. Thinking logically, the argument is that a company, which is ready to make the extra investment, is likely going to great lengths to ensure your safety. The alternative, of course, is a company that does the bare minimum. When your personal and financial data are on the line, who would you choose?
With SSL Checker tools available, there’s really no reason not to, either. SSL is a very simple measure of a company’s capabilities and willingness to protect your data. It’s only a small difference, but the implications are huge, so always look out for SSL and SSL EV certificates when trusting websites.