SSL, i.e., Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private data via the Internet. It was introduced in 1994. It is an accepted standard for e-commerce transaction security.
SSL uses the method of encryption for transmitting the data safely. Encryption means to translate data in a secret code. Encrypted data is called cipher text. To read encrypted data one requires a private key or password. This method is called cryptography. It can be classified into symmetric key system and public key system. In symmetric key system only one key is used to encrypt and decrypt data. The public key system uses two keys known as private key and public keys. A public key is known to everybody whereas a private key is used only by the person who receives the message.
With the increasing popularity of e-commerce sites, SSL has become quite significant. It has become inevitable for the security of e-mail messages, financial information or any other information which reveals the identity of a person. Your webhost can offer you Shared SSL for free with hosting accounts but having dedicated SSL would be a better option and is recommended for commercial sites.