WordPress recently announced that it will require all hosts to have HTTPS and restrict certain WordPress features to sites that have a valid SSL certificate. SSL basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted. SSL is the fastest way and effective way to secure your website.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key. A certificate serves as an electronic “passport” that establishes an online entity’s credentials when doing business on the Web. When an Internet user attempts to send confidential information to a Web server, the user’s browser accesses the server’s digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.
An SSL certificate contains the following information:
The certificate holder’s name
The certificate’s serial number and expiration date
A copy of the certificate holder’s public key
The digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority
HTTPS adds a security layer to HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTPS essentially encrypts data (using SSL or TSL) that is communicated between servers and clients until it reaches the intended recipient.