How and When Do I Set Up SSL?
Web servers use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to provide encrypted content with an ID connecting the server to browsers, for security purposes. This protects against interception and session hijacking by random hackers as the pages are relayed through sites between the user and the server. The usual http URL identifier is typically replaced with https or shttp for an SSL session.
SSL most commonly is used credit card numbers supplied for e-commerce purchases. The usual indication that it is in use is the lock icon on the bottom browser status bar. Figure 3 is from Opera 7.21, but Netscape, Mozilla, and IE have similar icons. The smart customer will depart at once from a credit card page with no icon.
Figure 3 SSL lock icon.