If you have a website it should be secured with a secure socket layer, otherwise known as SSL. By purchasing and installing an SSL certificate you create a secure tunnel through which information (like usernames, passwords and credit card information) can pass more safely through your website. It keeps helps keep cyber crooks from spying on any exchange between you and your customers.
You can tell a website is protected by an SSL certificate by looking for a few key things:
- HTTPS in URL – The website URL in the browser bar will start with HTTPS (rather than HTTP)
- Little Padlock – There will be a green or gray padlock in the browser bar, before the URL
Many small businesses mistakenly think that if they are not collecting payments online that an SSL is not needed. What they don’t realize is that the value of SSL is far greater than just security and they could be losing valuable customers from their sub-par online presence.
Encryption & Security
Having an SSL certificate on your site shows visitors that you care their data is safe. An SSL certificate protects sensitive data by using a process of encryption and decryption during transmission from their computer to your web server. The information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server the information is sent to. Without SSL encryption, someone with access to your router or ISP could intercept information sent to websites or inject malware into otherwise legitimate pages.
Trust & Authenticity
When securing an SSL the ownership of the domain must be proven. The more secure the SSL with higher levels encryption, the more extensive the verification process. This helps validate the organization and shows users that the business is legitimate. When users see that little padlock in the browser bar, it helps build trust and authenticity with your customers.
Improved Search Engine Presence
For the last several years Google has considered SSL as part of their ranking algorithm. This means that the world’s top search engine favors encrypted websites and will push them higher in search results. An SSL certificate will protect your customers AND help you find more of them.
While Google is rewarding sites that have SSL, their browser platform, Google Chrome, has implemented a few standards for non-SSL sites that can harm them. In July 2018 Chrome started marking all HTTP sites as “not secure.” It now warns users with extra notifications in the address bar if the site is not secured with an SSL. In addition, the browser goes as far as throwing up a “your connection is not private” page, and won’t allow you to click through to the website you are trying to view if something is wrong with the SSL connection.
Wilmington Web Development
For the benefit of your customers privacy and protection (as well as your own bottom line) it’s important to have an SSL certificate installed properly. If you have questions about your website, or you’d like to learn more about how we can help with your online presence and web marketing, drop us a line at 910.681.0548 or send us an email. We’d love to chat!