SSL: everything you need to know about this protocol
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) – one of the connection protocols between the browser and the site, which allows you to transfer data in encrypted form. At least that's what it was originally called. Today it has been replaced by a modern version called TLS (Transport Layer Security, transport layer protection), but the first name has taken root in practice. Therefore, in this review, we will also use the abbreviation SSL. An appropriate certificate is required to implement the interaction and correct operation. This is a digital document confirming the reliability of an Internet resource. SSL connects to sites through special centers that automatically generate a certificate, which makes it possible to implement the protocol. Such resources can be both paid and free.
Now let's take a closer look at what constitutes the SSL protocol, the certificate itself. Let us dwell on those questions from this segment that are of most interest to users. We will also tell you how to ensure the anonymity and security of browsing the network by additionally connecting a product such as dynamic mobile proxies.
The SSL protocol itself was created back in 1996 by Netscape specialists. Thanks to it, the data between the user's browser and the site server is encrypted during transmission, that is, third parties cannot intercept it. And even if in some incomprehensible way the attacker manages to get them, they will be useless for him – he can't decipher them. That is, the use of the SSL protocol is important for all those resources that work with user data. This is especially true for the banking sector, online stores, etc. Why is this so important? Consider the example of a regular online store. Your interaction will go through a huge number of nodes:
- Wi-Fi module or your usual local network.
- The ISP node closest to you.
- Regional router. In practice, their number is often much more than one.
- ISP-node. Which the online store connects to.
- Local network of the store itself.
It turns out that anyone who has access to any of these nodes will be able to intercept your data. It can be not only your colleagues, households, engineering staff of providers, but also intruders. And it is one thing when it comes to advice on the correct selection of clothing sizes, and quite another if it is a financial transaction or the transfer of personal data.
SSL encrypts streaming data using a combination of special digital keys: private and public. The first one will be visible only to the owner of the site, and the second – all. The belonging of the key to a particular site will be confirmed by an SSL certificate. That is, it is a kind of digital signature that indicates that the user is really connecting to the site that has the key, and not to the attacker who spoofed IP-address and silently redirects your requests to a third party server. We have already mentioned that the certificate is generated automatically. This happens simultaneously with the generation of keys and is directly related to the implementation of this protocol. That is, without an SSL certificate, it will not function.
How an SSL certificate is verified
Certificate Verification – a guarantee that the connection will be carried out using a secure protocol, which means that high security and confidentiality of information is ensured. If it happens that an attacker steals the SSL certificate, then he will have access to all your streaming data. He will be able to decrypt and read information, extract the data he needs. That is, the server owner must put a lot of effort into preventing the key from leaking.
The certificate is verified in the following sequence:
- The user or the system itself sends a request to the Internet server to which the corresponding site is linked. Any of your actions on the resource can be used as such a request.
- The browser itself requests identification from the server.
- In response to the request, the server sends a copy of the SSL certificate to the browser, and the search engine checks its originality, validity period, who issued it, and other data.
- If the results of the check are satisfactory, the browser sends a message to the server confirming that it is convinced of its reliability.
- As confirmation of the received message, the server returns a digital signature and starts a secure connection. Now there is a secure exchange of data. At the same time, http in the site address changes to https, which will indicate a secure connection. That is, HTTPS – it's the same HTTP-protocol, only protected by SSL encryption.
We described it all for a long time, but it works very quickly – the user hardly notices the delay in time. Most modern Internet sites already initially open at a secure address. And even if you initially enter http, the system will automatically redirect you to the https version of the resource. Also, the reliability of the site will be indicated by the image of the lock near the address. If this lock turns out to be crossed out, then the security of the connection is in doubt. If the site does not support the SSL protocol, then it will be available exclusively via HTTP.
SSL User Frequently Asked Questions
Now let's take a closer look at a number of questions about SSL that are most often of interest to users.
SSL hides the Internet connection from strangers?
No, the fact that you are connected to the internet remains visible. But all data that is transmitted between your browser and the target site will be encrypted, including the request you send. And even if an attacker gets them, he simply will not be able to decrypt them and, accordingly, derive at least some benefit.
How to understand that the traffic is encrypted?
The easiest way to determine if your traffic is going through the secure – pay attention to the URL of the site you are accessing. At the beginning of the line there should be a closed black padlock, and the resource itself should start with https. If you see that the padlock is crossed out with a cross, and the URL starts with http, then you should be wary. There is a high probability of a potential threat and the Internet is trying to warn you about it.
Should I buy a product on a site where there is no SSL protection?
It is impossible to say unequivocally that a site that starts with http carries a real threat. This is just a warning about a potential threat. Every day, an increasing number of Internet resources are switching to secure connection protocols. If you have found the product you are interested in on the site starting with http, go to the payment section. It is highly likely that this particular page on the resource has a separate encrypted SSL channel designed to encrypt your payment data even from the store itself. If not, think about additional ways to ensure your own online security.
Only sites are built on the SSL protocol?
No. Also, this connection protocol is widely used by modern instant messengers, including Telegram. It is also used by the overwhelming majority of applications focused on working in the banking sector. An SSL connection can be anything, because it is nothing more than a transmitter of encryption keys and a tool for working with them.
Is the SSL certificate issued once and for all?
No, the certificate has an expiration date. Often it contains a ready-made set of tools for a certain number of connections. And when this limit ends, the certificate will need to be renewed.
How high will the level of protection provided by the SSL protocol be?
Unfortunately, the SSL protocol has a number of vulnerabilities. In particular, it does not guarantee 100% protection against threats when entering the site, because your protected data stream is decrypted directly on the resource itself. The second weak spot – this is your device. If you accidentally "drag" virus software on it, then when decrypting the data, it will automatically get to your PC, thereby opening access to an attacker to your personal data. In addition, we must not forget that each device has certain programs that consume traffic (corporate security systems, anti-virus software, etc.). And it's good if you trust them.
That is, the capabilities of this protocol will be enough to provide basic protection against the most common Internet threats. But if you use the network for professional activities, if you do not want your personal information to become public, it is worth considering additional protection. And one of the most effective and reliable solutions here – using mobile proxies from the MobileProxy.Space server. More information about the product can be found here. Take advantage of the offer and ensure your absolute anonymity and security of your online experience.