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Transport Layer Security. Are you already bored? TLS is one of the most important technologies protecting you on the web these days, so let’s tackle why that matters. First, what is it?

TLS (formerly SSL) is what makes it possible for secure and encrypted information to be transmitted between a client, like your web browser, and a server. This technology allows for credit card numbers, emails, legal documents, medical records, and thousands of other types of data to securely move around the world. The nature of TLS prevents anyone who intercepts data from decoding it, because only the source and destination possess the keys to unlock it.

Why It Matters:

  • As a consumer – Every time you transmit your credit card or bank information, your social security number, or the password to your favorite social media site, TLS encryption protects it from being snatched out of the ether by would-be hackers.
  • As a business owner –Your customers will expect secure interactions with your website and are likely to take their business elsewhere if they doubt your ability to safeguard their transactions. Many web browsers will warn people away from unprotected sites that conduct commerce, which can further drive away customers.

What to Look for:

TLS protected sites, like EVAN Your IT Guy, will have security icons directly to the left of the URL you are visiting. For example, in Google Chrome, look for this: 

 and beware of this: 

Make sure you see the closed lock, the word “secure,” and the “s” at the end of https before entering sensitive or financial information.

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