An SSL certificate is a web browser distinction with two components:
- It shows that a trusted certificate authority has taken steps to verify the authenticity of your website.
- It encrypts visible data that a user enters in your website for safe transmission from the browser to the website's host server.
The first component means that an SSL-secured site isn't impersonating a trusted website to "phish" sensitive data, and the second component means that if a hacker intercepts the data as it transmits from the web browser to the website's host server, they won't be able to read and use it.
How can you see this is active on your site?
If you look at the address bar at the top of your browser of choice, there will be a lock displayed to the left of the domain. When you click in to the address bar
https:// will show at the beginning of the domain.