What is SSL and why should I use it?

What is SSL and why should I use it?

What is SSL and why should I use it? SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a mechanism used to encrypt data traveling between two computers.

So what is encryption?

Encryption is a method of scrambling information so any unwanted people cannot read it if intercepted.
Methods for scrambling messages have been around for thousands of years.  One of the more well known methods is the Caesar Cipher, which uses a simple letter substitution.

Basically you get a character map and for each letter of a word you substitute it for another.  Julius Caesar replaced each letter with the third character along, so for example “abc” would become “def”.

And then computers came

With something simple like a Caesar cipher it can be very time consuming for a person to restore the original text, you would have to use trail and error to reverse the encryption.

Computers changed all that, what it could takes hours or days for a person to decode can take a computer seconds.

How was this resolved?

To resolve this issue early computer scientists turned to mathematics to come up with complex algorithms that would make it very difficult to decode any message without the relevant keys.  That is most modern methods use a key to decode messages and if you don’t have the key it can be very difficult to decode the message.

Unfortunately as with everything in life nothing is impossible, things we take for granted in modern times like the aeroplane would have been considered impossible a couple of hundred years ago. The same has been for encryption methods.

What can we do to resolve this?

Thankfully new methods are being discovered and hopefully the new methods come out before the old methods are broken.

So it is important to keep up-to-date with the most recent methods.

How does this relate to my website?

Modern websites have control panels that govern the look and feel plus the content, also many sites have members sections, that’s not even taking into account E-Commerce and financial institution sites.

With encryption we can make sure that unwanted eyes do not see the information that is being transmitted between your computer and the website you are accessing, this information may include username/password or you banking details so it is always wise to exercise caution.

Now you may be thinking why on earth would I need to worry about anyone eaves dropping on my blog or small business site, I’m not Facebook. The truth of the matter is that due to the enormous scale of the Internet attackers use automated tools to attack and gather information so if you have security vulnerabilities in your website or you have not configured the security correctly you are likely to be targeted as these tools will automatically find you.

What can I do about this?

Thankfully due the SSL system that I mentioned above you can added encryption to your website, so once this has been installed all traffic between your website and anyone browsing it is encrypted, this goes a long way to stopping people from getting in.

You don’t have to encrypt anything, if you have a simple blog all you really need to encrypt is the admin section and any members sections if you have them, however more and more site owners are choosing to encryption the entire site, this way you can be confident that no-one is going to accidentally login into a secure part of the site in an insecure manner.

Now this is by no means a sure fire way to stopping people getting into your WordPress blog so if you are not sure please get in touch and we can advise on security measures that you can implement.

Leave a Reply