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One New Thing
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
One New Thing: SSL, certificates and keys.

These are words I’ve been hearing for years and vaguely understood, but it’s always useful to understand more. SSL, according to Webopedia, stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”, and that is a protocol that enables data to be transferred securely over the internet. Generally the URLs that begin with https:// instead of http:// are using the SSL protocol. The certificate that you are sometimes asked to accept when you are submitting data is so that you know who you are submitting information to, and also that you are sending back your data encrypted.
I’m not entirely sure I understand the public keys and private keys mentioned in the linked definitions, except that they are used in encoding and decoding the information – but that can wait for another time. I’m posting earlier today so I can get to bits of ALIA Biennial this afternoon - mostly the social bits! :)

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