Chances are you have heard about SSL certificates – secure socket layer certificates, yes? You may or may not have an idea what they are, but you are asking yourself: Why do you need an one?
Doing your research on the web, you are likely to come upon a host of geeky details regarding secure certificates that it ends up confusing you the more. This is the approach we want to avoid as we explain why you need SSL in layman’s language.
The technology is the backbone of the secure side of the web and it keeps your sensitive information from prying eyes as it travels across the globe. It keeps the Internet from being hijacked by criminals and anarchists, with many direct benefits for you and your customers.
Encrypt Sensitive Information
SSL encrypts sensitive information being transmitted across the Internet so that only the intended recipient can understand it. Given the information you transmit online is passed from computer to computer before it reaches its destination server, anyone with malicious intent (and skill) can intercept it.
When an SSL certificate is used, however, the info becomes unreadable to the world save for the server you are sending it to.
An SSL certificate provides authentication which is another way of saying you can be sure the information you are sending (credit card number, username, password etc.) is headed to the right server and not to a criminal’s posing as the intended recipient.
Trusted SSL providers only issue certificates to a verified entity (individual, business or organization) that has gone through multiple identity checks with some providers asking for more validation than others. And even so, you need to be PCI compliant in order to take credit card information on your website, and this needs you to have a proper SSL certificate.
Better Search Rankings
Starting August 2014, Google, the most popular search engine, updated their search algorithm to start giving priority to websites that use SSL to protect themselves. You can find out more on Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Build Trust with your Visitors
More people are becoming savvier with the Internet, and recent changes to all common Internet browsers indicate to your site visitors if your website is secure (by having an SSL).
This is another way of saying you’re serious about the security of both your website and your visitors’ which helps to build trust. It is particularly important if you do business online.
See, it’s not that hard!
Tip: You don’t need to use your SSL certificate on every page on your website if you’re an individual or small business like us. Use it only for pages that necessitate logging in and sections that interact with financial data. Reason is because you will be wasting a lot of system resources and bandwidth if you use it on all pages. Encrypting a static homepage or About us page, for example, without any sensitive information is just a waste. If your site has millions of pageviews a month, you will decapitate your server.