Get information about Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

When you connect to a commerce website, such as a bank or bookseller, Internet Explorer uses a secure connection that uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt the transaction. The encryption is based on a certificate that provides Internet Explorer with the information it needs to communicate securely with the website. Certificates also identify the website and owner or company.

You can view a certificate to validate the identity of a website before providing personal or financial information to an online business.

To validate the identity of a website

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Internet Explorer.

  2. Go to the website that you want to validate.

  3. Click the Lock icon Picture of the Lock icon, which is located to the right of the Address bar.

    Basic certificate information (for example, the name and address of the website owner and information about who certified the site) will be displayed. To see additional information, click View Certificates.


  • If a lock icon does not appear in the Address bar in step 3 above, the connection is not secure and you should not enter personal or financial information.