When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.
The server sends the browser a copy of its SSL certificate. The browser checks whether it trusts the SSL certificate. If so, it sends a message to the server. The server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgement to start an SSL encrypted session.
PKI uses a hybrid cryptosystem and benefits from using both types of encryption. For example, in SSL communications, the server's SSL Certificate contains an asymmetric public and private key pair. The session key that the server and the browser create during the SSL Handshake is symmetric.
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