What is SSL and why SSL is a big deal for websites?
Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with "http://", while others start with "https://"?
Maybe you noticed that extra "s" when you were browsing websites that require giving over sensitive information, like when you were paying bills online. But where'd that extra "s" come from, and what does it mean? To put it simply, the extra "s" means your connection to that website is secure and encrypted; Any data you enter is safely shared with that website. The technology that powers that little "s" is called SSL, which stands for “Secure Sockets Layer.”
As a consumer, you always want to see https:// when visiting any site you trust with your essential information. As a marketer, you'll want to make sure you have an SSL or two for your audience.
So let's talk about why SSL is a big deal.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private
These are digital certificates that are the foundation for strong internet security. It protects sensitive data from being exchanged when it’s not warranted. This is done by establishing an encrypted connection between an individual’s computer and your website. These are becoming more and more important in the digital era, and are a must to have for new businesses.
When you land on a page that has a form you filled in and hit "submit" for, the information you entered can be intercepted by a hacker on an unsecure website.
This information could be anything from details on a bank transaction to what you enter to register for an offer. In hacker lingo, this "interception" is often referred to as a "man-in-the-middle attack."
One of the most common ways an attack happens is this: A hacker places a small, undetected listening program on the server hosting a website. That program waits in the background until a visitor starts typing information on the website, and it will activate to start capturing the information and then send it back to the hacker.
A little scary, right?
But when you visit a website that's encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the web server, look at the SSL certificate, then bind your browser and the server. This binding connection is secure to ensure no one besides you and the website can see or access what you type.
This connection happens instantly, and in fact, some suggest it's faster than connecting to an unsecure website. You simply have to visit a website with SSL, and voila: Your connection will automatically be secured.
An SSL is security technology. It's a protocol for servers and web browsers that makes sure that data passed between the two are private. This is done using an encrypted link that connects the server and browser.
Companies that request personal information from a user, such as an email address or payment information, should have SSL certificates on their website. Having one means that the details you are collecting are private and ensures the customer that when they see that padlock and "https://", their privacy is safe.
SSL certificates are categorized by the level of validation and encryption provided or the number of domains or subdomains under the certificate. There's three types of certificates you can earn depending on the SSL you obtain. Let's talk about them in more detail.
Google Considers SSL Certificates Essential to Websites
One of the areas where new businesses put most of their efforts is to rank well on Google. While there are many aspects to this, one of them is the trustworthiness of your website. Google places a high level of trust on SSL certificates for both individuals and corporations. In fact, it has rolled out a feature in its Chrome browser that displays websites without SSL certificate as “not secure”. This can make you come across as fishy and will not help in establishing good relations with your visitors.
When a website has an SSL certificate properly installed on its server, a small green lock will be shown to the left of a website URL in the browser and https will be in green as well.
These certificates are essential as they are used to secure data transfer, credit/debit card transactions, individual logins, and other important information. They provide a sense of security to customers and make visitors more likely to stay on a website for longer periods of time.
Protects From Information Theft
Any information submitted to a website goes through a channel of computers before it reaches the intended party. If SSL is not properly installed on the website’s server, the chances of this information being stolen are higher. SSL encrypts the information making it readable only to the party it is intended for. The way this is done is, it adds random characters to the submitted information which can only be accessed with an encryption key. The information is useless for those without the key.
A Must For Online Transactions
If you are an eCommerce business or if you require your customers to pay for your products or services online, then an SSL certificate is a must. In fact, it should be with an encryption of at least 128-bit. It is one of the first things you should consider getting done when building your website.
A Sense of Security
The green lock and green https gives people a sense of security when visiting your website. With identity theft on the rise, information security is more important than ever. SSL certificate ensures you keep everyone’s information safe, which builds confidence in people who are visiting your site.
An Absolute Must in 2018
To ensure safer browsing in 2018, Google flagged any website that doesn’t have SSL certification by the end of 2017. This change has affected every single website and not just websites that deal with online payments or are selling something. Whether you’re a lawyer, a restaurant owner, a dentist or whether you are building your personal website, don’t get mistaken thinking this change doesn’t apply to you.
Maintaining an online presence is not an easy job. So take the right steps to avoid making it tougher than it already is. Ensure that your website has top quality security available.