What is an SSL Certificate

What is an SSL Certificate?

What is SSL - An explanation video from GlobalSign

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organisation’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically,SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. SSL Certificates bind together:


  • A domain name, server name or hostname
  • An organisational identity (i.e. company name) and location


An organisation needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate secure sessions with browsers. Depending on the type of SSL Certificate applied for, the organisation will need to go through differing levels of vetting. Once installed, it is possible to connect to the website over https://www.domain.com, as this tells the server to establish a secure connection with the browser. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure. Browsers tell visitors a website is SSL secure via several visible trust indicators:

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates (such as GlobalSign ExtendedSSL):

SSL Green Bar

Standard SSL Certificates (such as GlobalSign DomainSSL and OrganizationSSL) display:

SSL Padlock

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