Why SSL Certificates are important
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SSL Certificates - Keep your Visitors Secure and Protected
After the new EU GDPR swings into action in May to tackle data security and how we process said data, our next step towards a safer web was pushed by Google, with an announcement that "all websites will be marked as 'Not Secure' unless it has a valid SSL Certificate". The announcement was made in February and took effect in July 2018, so you may have already started to see the impact of it. But what is an SSL certificate and why is it so important?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), is a form of Transport Layer Security protocol and part of an "HTTPS" website. You often see this string of letters at the very start of a URL (for example, https://www.easy-domains.uk) as part of the internet communication protocol. In a nutshell, it establishes a private and encrypted connection between the browser and the server. There are four main benefits to installing a reliable SSL certificate on your website:
1. Data Security
You may have heard this phrase time and time again, but data security is a pressing issue in our increasingly digital world. An SSL certificate is essential for a website which processes sensitive data such as personal addresses, credit card information and passwords. The protocol will encrypt all information submitted between the server and connection from the prying eyes of hackers and fraudsters.
This means that when you visit an HTTPS website with a valid SSL certificate, you can rest assured that no one but your intended recipient will see the information you submit, making internet shopping and payments much safer and secure. That being said, you should still be careful about who you submit sensitive data to.
2. Data Integrity
This further expands on the encrypted connection. In a secure HTTPS connection, any information submitted from either party (the server and the browser) "cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected." This means further protection from hackers who are continually looking for weak links in website security.
3. Consumer Trust
This is particularly important for businesses which have e-commerce facilities or receive heavy site traffic. An HTTPS website with a valid SSL certificate will display a green padlock on the top left of the address bar; depending on the level of encryption, the entire address bar may appear green or display the company's name. As you may expect, this obvious sign will boost the visitor's trust in the website, even if they do not intend on making a purchase.
On the other hand, a website which hasn't switched over to HTTPS by July 2018 will have "Not Secure" displayed in the stead of the green padlock. Even though your website may not collect any sensitive information, the phrase can set alarm bells ringing for the average internet user, leading to an adverse impression of your business.
4. Search Engine Ranking
As the instigator of this "HTTPS movement" and the receiver of a staggering 78% of all searches on the internet, it is perhaps unsurprising that Google has added website security to its list of ranking factors. This incentive means that installing a valid SSL certificate is now part of recommended search engineering practices, along with all the benefits you will receive for having a secure HTTPS connection.
As the SSL update is already implemented, it's essential that businesses which haven't already got valid SSL certificates do so with relative haste. Although there are no financial penalties involved, such as the hefty fine attached to the non-compliance of GDPR, you are in danger of losing consumer trust and having data intercepted from the connection of your website, which could lead to undesirable situations.
How can I get an SSL Certificate?
Your website hosting provider will be able to install a valid SSL certificate and migrate your website to HTTPS. Depending on the level of encryption required, the cost will also vary.
For example, a corporate website with multiple subdomains will inevitably cost more to secure than a small business website which is purely informational.
If your website is hosted by Easy Domains, we will be more than happy to provide a fully authenticated and valid SSL certificate on your website to protect the integrity of your website's and your visitor's data.
If you would like more information regarding this or would like to discuss your requirements, you can contact us on 01253 968004 on Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm where you can speak to a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team. Alternatively, you can forward your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.