Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a common security protocol for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client, typically a web server and a browser, or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook). TLS, or Transport Layer Security is the successor technology of SSL but not used as often.
SSL enables safe transmission of sensitive data such as credit card details, social security numbers, and login credentials. Data exchanged between browsers and web servers is usually transferred in plain text, leaving you open to eavesdropping. An attacker can see and utilize information if they can intercept all data transmitted between a browser and a web server.
SSL is a security protocol to protect the transmission of data. Protocol guidelines specify how the security algorithms should be applied. The SSL protocol, in this scenario, determines the encryption variables for both the link and the data being transmitted. The SSL protocol can be used by all browsers to communicate with secure web servers. However, in order to establish a secure connection, both the browser and the server require an SSL Certificate.