SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer". It is a protocol designed to enable applications to transmit information back and forth securely. Applications that use this protocol inherently know how to give and receive encryption keys with other applications, as well as how to encrypt and decrypt data sent between the two.SSL has been universally accepted on the World Wide Web for authenticated and encrypted communication between the customer's computer and servers.
Some applications that are configured to run SSL include web browsers like Internet Explorer and Netscape, email programs like GroupWise, Outlook, and Outlook Express, FTP (file transfer protocol) programs, etc. These programs are automatically able to receive SSL connections.
To send an SSL connection, however, or to open a secure connection, your application must first have an encryption key assigned to it by a Certification Authority. Once it has a unique key of its own, you can establish a secure connection with every other application that can "speak" the SSL protocol.