September 28, 2021

What is an SSL Certificate and Why You Need One

The first place you are likely to encounter SSL is when you type in a full URL into a browser. Secure websites that have an SSL will begin with “https://” while non-secure sites will begin with “http://”

In the early days of the internet, the non-secure version was more common, but over the years, more and more companies have realized that web visitors want assurance that your website is secure before they make purchases or offer any sensitive information.

Acquiring an SSL Certificate for your website, thankfully, is quite easy and a great win for both you and for your potential customers on your website.

What is an SSL?

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer,” but for our purposes, the most important thing to know is that it adds encryption to the information exchanged between you and those who visit your small business website.

The data file that is important in this encryption is known as an “SSL Certificate,” and it enables a secure transfer of information between a web server and your web browser.

You don’t have to get too far into the technical elements of how websites work to see that this additional data file helps keep unwanted eyes off your website’s important data transfers.

When someone wants to intercept sensitive information, such as an identity thief, the SSL makes it harder to do so, since the encryption of the information slows down any effort to harvest that data. In general, they’re more likely to target weaker websites that don’t have an SSL Certificate.

What’s more is that the “https://” signals to your web browser that it should check to make sure the SSL Certificate is valid. This verification process helps you avoid sending information through websites that cannot be trusted and which will endanger your private data.

The Transition to Stronger Security

Early internet browsing was often fairly one-directional: a website would have information on it, and visitors would browse and look at the information available.

While it is hard for some of us to remember, there was a time when many people were hesitant to buy anything online for fear of letting their credit card information or other info out into the world wide web.

However, e-commerce is such a valuable way to quickly and effectively access goods and services from all over the world, and shipping networks have made it possible to buy almost anything – the draw was too strong.

As a result, SSL Certificate for websites have become much more popular, since they allow people to use sensitive data in a secure way when they want to make a purchase or send sensitive information online.

Why Bother Getting an SSL Certificate for Your Site?

Even if you feel like customers aren’t bothered by your lack of SSL Certificate, it may be worthwhile to get one.

For one thing, they are either inexpensive or free, depending on the web hosting service you use and what kind of certificate you need. ┬áIt’s a nice boost to your credibility and customer confidence, given how affordable it is to implement.

Another good reason to consider one is that Google has released information that make it clear that having a secure site helps your rankings. Google has gone as far as to say “HTTPS Everywhere” is a good goal.

Because SSL Certificates aren’t too hard to get and can help boost confidence in your site, today’s the day to look into getting one.

You can speak with your IT partner, web developer, or with technical support at your web host to make sure you choose the right SSL Certificate to keep your website secure.