Typically used in order to secure data transfers, debit/ credit card transactions and/ or log-ins, SSL certificates are essentially small data files designed to digitally bind cryptographic keys to the details of an organisation, binding the organisation's domain, server, host and company name and location together in the process.

Organisations are required to apply for and install SSL certificates on their servers in order to initiate secure browser sessions. There are several types of SSL certificates, including:

EV (Extended Validation) SSL Certificates (like GlobalSign ExtendedSSL)
Standard SSL Certificates (like GlobalSign DomainSSL or OrganizationSSL)

Organisations are vetted according to the type of certificate applied for and presence of a Root Certificate is essential for certificates to be issued. Once issued and installed, SSL certificates activate the https protocol (Port 443) and padlock and permit secure server-browser connections.

Users are informed of a Website's SSL security via visible trust indicators in their browser. In the case of an EV SSL certificate, this means:

The browser's address bar turns green
The site owner's company name is displayed in the address bar
The standard http at the beginning of the site-address is changed to https
The padlock is activated (missing or broken padlock symbols indicate a site not using SSL)

In the event of a Standard SSL certificate being in place, the latter two of the above indicators are used to inform visitors that a site can be trusted.