SSL/TLS certificates work by digitally tying a cryptographic key to a company’s identifying information. This allows them to encrypt data transfers in such a way that they can’t be unscrambled by third parties.
SSL/TLS works by having both a private and a public key, as well as session keys for every unique secure session. When a visitor enters an SSL-secured address into their web browser or navigates through to a secure page, the browser and the web server make a connection.
During the initial connection, the public and private keys will be used to create a session key, which will then be used to encrypt and decrypt the data that’s being transferred. This session key will remain valid for a limited time and only be used for that particular session.
You can tell whether a website is using SSL by looking for a padlock icon or a green bar at the top of your browser. You should be able to click on this icon to view the information on who holds the certificate and to manage your SSL settings.