What is an SSL Certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate verifies the identity of the website and allows web users to send and receive information securely by encryption. An SSL Certificate contains a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt information and the private key is used to decipher it. Web users know when an SSL Certificate is in place as the URL address bar begins with https rather than http and the padlock icon is displayed.