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Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

The abbreviation SSL stands for "Secure Socket Layer": the most widespread and efficient protocol for transmitting reserved information over the Internet in an absolutely safe way. This protocol, developed by Netscape and nowadays considered a very important standard, is supported automatically by nearly all browsers (including Internet Explorer and Netscape).

SSL technology is based on complex mathematical formulae used in the field of cryptography.
During a safe connection all the information is encoded before being transmitted thereby making the communication absolutely indecipherable.
The SSL protocol also supplies a very important guarantee of authenticity. This means you can be sure that no impostor can lie about his identity and receive reserved information.

To know if the browser is communicating with a safe server by means of the SSL protocol you just need to check that the address of the page is characterised by the prefix https (the s stands for secure).
Generally when you move from a normal "http" connection to a safe "https" connection the browser visualises warning messages.
Furthermore, during a safe SSL connection:

  • Internet Explorer
    visualises the image of a "closed padlock" Internet Explorer on the bottom left and makes information about the SSL Certificate (Certification Authority - date of issue and expiry...) available by means of a special menu (file --> property --> certificate).
  • Netscape
    visualises the image of a "Closed padlock" Netscape on the bottom left and makes information about the SSL (Certification Authority - date of issue and expiry...) available through a special button on the menu.

The SSL protocol currently uses 128 bit encrypting keys. In order to fully exploit the 128 bits available, we advise you to update your browser with the most recent versions.



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