Safe browsing and the role of SSL

At Blockchain, we ‘Sanctify Security’. Security is at the core of our business and everything we build. We go the extra mile to underscore best security practices like using a secure password, enabling two-factor authentication, and making a wallet backup. SSL certificates are another way to keep you safe online. Read on to learn more.

What is SSL and what does it do?

SSL (or Secure Sockets Layer) is a web technology that lets users securely interact with legitimate websites. While it’s not as important for sites that don’t collect sensitive information, any site you visit where you enter your banking information, credit card number, address, or personal details should in the very least have a standard SSL certificate.

For sites like ours, SSL performs two primary functions:

  1. It provides your web browser with a way to encrypt your communications with the website. This makes sure that sensitive information (like your wallet login credentials or other personal data) can’t be intercepted.
  2. SSL-enabled sites help you make sure you’re at the right place (and not on a deceivingly similar-looking phishing site) by displaying an SSL certificate you can view from your browser. Along with many other sites, Blockchain.info uses an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate, which can only be obtained through a meticulous vetting process that includes providing proof to SSL certificate providers that the site applying is a legitimate business.

How to check for a valid SSL certificate

A screenshot of the Blockchain.info home page showing our EV certificate in the Safari browser.
A screenshot of the Blockchain.info home page showing our EV SSL certificate in the Safari browser.

Like we touched on above, an SSL certificate makes easier to tell whether you’re at the site you intended to visit or not. You’ll notice this when you visit Blockchain.info in your browser: a green lock icon to the left of the URL. For many web browsers including Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, an EV SSL goes a step further by displaying the name of our legal entity, “Blockchain Luxembourg S.A.R.L.” next to the green lock.

Viewing the details of our EV SSL certificate in Safari v10.0.1
Viewing the details of our EV SSL certificate in Safari v10.0.1

In most browsers, it’s also a relatively similar process to view details about our EV SSL certificate. By clicking on the green lock in Safari, a popup will confirm the connection is secure, and you can click on Show Certificate to display details like when the certificate expires, who issued it, and whether it’s valid or not.

We hope this post brings some clarity when it comes to setting apart the good guys from the imposters. Share it with your family and friends so they can delight in this newfangled knowledge too.

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