What Is SSL Email? [Everything You Need to Know]

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Harsha Kiran
Written by
Harsha Kiran

Updated · Aug 17, 2023

Harsha Kiran
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Efani Secure Mobile - CEO | Joined July 2023 | LinkedIn
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Haseeb Awan founded Efani Secure Mobile after being SIM swapped for 4 times. He co-founded one of th... | See full bio

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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an approach for securing connections between two systems over the internet. This prevents cyber attacks such as phishing and spam. 

In 2021, 84.12% of emails were spam, and 3.4 billion phishing emails were sent daily, causing data breaches and identity theft. These can have severe consequences for businesses and internet users, so SSL is necessary.

Modifying users' data using encryption is what SSL does to prevent unauthorized third parties,  such as spam and hackers, from accessing and exploiting private information.

Keep reading to discover SSL email, how it protects your information, and why you should use it.

🔑Key Takeaways

SSL enhances internet security by providing encryption levels to prevent hackers from accessing personal data.


Using SSL protects confidential information from hackers, ensuring communication security and preventing data modification.


There are three types of SSL certificates: Domain Validation, Organization Validation, and Extended Validation.


SSL certificates protect email transmissions, digitally sign, encrypt data, end phishing, and authenticate senders.


SSL and TLS are encryption protocols for user-server connections, using a master secret for authentication and confidentiality and using pseudo-random functions. While PGP is an open-source email security software package.

Understanding Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Your personal information is vulnerable to hackers. 87% of consumers expose personal information to hackers. Fortunately, SSL enhances communication security by encrypting data during transmission.

Encryption enables modifying user data, making it extremely difficult for hackers to exploit. BuiltWith reports that there are 173,084,217 SSL certificates on the entire internet.

Here are the types of SSL certificates and their categories:

Types of SSL Certificates

There are different types of SSL certificates, and they are divided into three main groups, including:

  1. Domain Validation (DV) - Confirms that an organization owns the specified domain.
  2. Organization Validation (OV) - Demonstrates that an organization has verified its business identity.
  3. Extended Validation (EV) - The highest level of SSL certificate demonstrates that a site owner has undertaken a thorough identity verification process and confirmed their exclusive control over the domain.

Discover why benefits of using an SSL Email in the next section and how it can safeguard your information.

Benefits of SSL Email

Email SSL certificates intend to protect and verify email transmissions. It digitally signs the email to ensure no unauthorized person can read or modify it.

The email SSL certificate adds an ID to the email indicating its originator. It encrypts email and protects data during internet transmission. 

Some of its benefits include:

  1. End the Phishing scams - SSL certificates authenticate senders, protect against fraud, and filter spam emails and inboxes. 
  2. Email Encryption - Email SSL certificates encrypt messages, preventing hackers from decrypting them with a key upon delivery.
  3. Sender Verification - Email SSL certificates digitally sign and authenticate emails, filtering spam and ensuring they come from authenticated senders and recipients.
  4. Protect Your Reputation - Email spamming compromises organizations' relationships and trust. Thus, securing emails with SSL certificates is essential to protect your reputation.
  5. Online Payments - Payment card industries mandate SSL certificates with 128-bit encryption for secure transactions, preventing card-related issues.
  6. Improve Software Requirements - SSL requires a standard web browser connection, saving software purchase, maintenance, and management costs for small and large organizations.
  1. Boost SEO - Google highlights SSL certificates as crucial in improving search engine rankings, with most higher-ranked sites having SSL certificates.

SSL certificates safeguard information, but it's not always available. Here are some alternatives to SSL for protecting email communications.

Comparison of SSL vs. Other Secure Email Technologies

Many security protocols have emerged in recent years, some of which are better and more advanced in certain aspects than SSL. To make the best decision for your gadget and data, comparing SSL to alternative security protocols is essential.

Some of the alternatives to SSL for secure email are discussed below.


The connection between a user's browser and server is encrypted using Transport Layer Security and Secure Sockets Layer. Secure Socket Layer (SS) uses a master secret for authentication and confidentiality, while TLS uses a pseudo-random function.


SSL also has a certificate authority certificate that validates the authority of the public and private keys involved in SSL. Hence, PGP has only public and private keys. It is an open-source software package that is designed for email security. 

The distinction between SSL, TLS, and PGP  is summarized in the following table.





Cipher Suites

Supports the Fortezza cipher suite

It does not offer support

Uses RC4, Triple DES, AES, IDEA

It encrypts data by combining:


data compression

symmetric-key cryptography

public-key cryptography

Alert Messages

No certificate alert messages

Replaces alert messages with additional ones.

It uses the website alert box to display a warning message.

Message Authentication

Uses Message Authentication Code (MAC)

Uses Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC )

SHA-1 encrypts 160-bit output with the sender's private Digital Signature key.


Less reliable and slower

Highly reliable and upgraded

Highly reliable with a confidentiality feature

Bottom Line

While modern technology has simplified our lives, it has also exposed our data to hackers. Respect clients' data to guarantee security in all your interactions. For this reason, SSL encryption is essential to the success of all email marketing campaigns.

By procuring and installing an SSL certificate on your website, you can protect yourself and your customers, instill confidence in your brand, and enhance the reputation of your domains, enabling you to achieve future email marketing success.


What is the risk of using SSL?

The data could be compromised even if everything works perfectly with your SSL connection. For example, suppose your customers send their credit card data to you over SSL, but your server needs to be more secure. In that case, hackers can still steal your customer data.

Is an SSL certificate a firewall?

No, SSL is not a firewall. SSL protects data transmission, but hackers can inject malicious code through web application vulnerabilities, requiring a firewall to prevent implementation.

Are SSL certificates tied to IP?

An SSL Certificate is commonly issued to a domain name, not an IP address. The IP address is irrelevant if the web server uses the correct domain name for the SSL Certificate.

Is SSL on the domain or server?

A Secure Socket Layer server (SSL server) is an Internet server, typically a web server, modified to perform cryptographic functions to establish a secure connection with a connecting client, typically a web browser.


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