That little green lock icon in the address bar of a website is a common sight, especially if you are doing any online shopping. It means the site is safe to use, but what does that green lock actually do to protect you?
In order to understand this, it’s important to understand how information on the Internet gets from its point of origination to its destination. Unlike a direct flight from DC to New York, data on the Internet must pass through several computers and servers along its way from point A to point B. Just like an indirect flight where you need to make a connection, data that must travel through multiple points has the potential to get delayed, lost, or intercepted by people with unsavory motives.
That little lock icon, also known as a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, gives site visitors confidence that the data they submit through the website will not be compromised during its journey.