SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details. 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.
SSL Certificates protect your sensitive information such as credit card information, usernames, passwords etc. It also:
SSL Certificates need to be issued from a trusted Certificate Authority. Browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices maintain list of trusted CA root certificates.
The Root Certificate must be present on the end user's machine in order for the Certificate to be trusted. If it is not trusted the browser will present untrusted error messages to the end user. In the case of e-commerce, such error messages result in immediate lack of confidence in the website and organizations risk losing confidence and business from the majority of consumers.
Companies like RedStar Infowave are known as trusted Certificate Authorities. The more applications, devices and browsers the Certificate Authority embeds its Root into, the better "recognition" the SSL Certificate can provide.