SSL Certificate Rundown
You read our last post about the importance of small businesses getting online and getting a well-functioning website. Now no matter who you’ve decided to go with for hosting, hopefully, you’ve enabled it with an SSL certificate. If you haven’t, this is the post for you.
What’s an SSL Cert? Well, simply put, it’s a bit of code embedded into your web server that allows for secure communications. When a visitor hits your website, it connects with their web browser and enables an encrypted connection. As you might have guessed, this is much more favorable for everyone involved than an unencrypted connection. Here, we’re going to keep it short and go over what we feel are the top three reasons these are so important without going too far down the rabbit hole.
Security & Identity
Ok, we cheated a little… That’s two things. But they do go hand in hand with one another. As a business owner with a website, it’s crucial you keep your site secure. Once an SSL is activated, every bit of information on your site will be encrypted, which ensures that some nasty hackers cannot come along and steal or access any of the information. This is because the SSL creates unique encryption for the data that can only be unlocked by a specific recipient.
We say identity because anytime someone is activating an SSL, they must go through a validation process by a third-party Certificate Authority (CA). In this process, the CA must verify your and your organization’s identities, and once it does, your site is given accreditation. This eliminates what is called phishing, and ensures viewers that they are actually viewing the correct site, exposes fraudulent ones, and thus improves your reputation and identity. There, now you’re showing your viewers its really you, and keeping their info secure at the same time. Which leads us to our next point…
Do you often work with people you don’t trust? Hand out your credit card numbers, let them watch your kids, give them your house keys? Probably not… But your viewers are going to feel the same way if an indicator saying “connection is not secure” pops up in their web browser before they even hit your landing page. Here is a fun fact: 85% of people avoid sites that are unsecure (GlobalSign). This is the simplest and most obvious reason it’s so essential to get your site fitted with one of those fancy padlocks like you see above in your browsers address bar.
Pretty cool huh?
You feel safe?
You bet you do.
Viewers who visit your site knowing their information is secure are infinitely more likely to do business with you and visit your site again. Do you plan on accepting payments through your site? You need an SSL cert. Why? Having an SSL cert also is one of the key components of making your site be PCI (payment card industry) compliant. And if you plan to accept payments through your site, this is quite literally a must.
Good old SEO. If the above reasons aren’t enough, this one’s the kicker. In 2014 Google updated its algorithms to directly favor sites utilizing HTTPS and SSL certificates. And in 2018, they set a requirement for sites to have these, flagging any site that doesn’t, and throwing a warning message to any viewer attempting access. Now thats gonna hurt if you’re missing one… If you’d like to read more about what google has to say about making your site more secure and favorable, we’d recommend this page here.
SSL Certificate Conclusion
So if you haven’t already, get your site set with HTTPS and SSL. They’re honestly very affordable, and will pay for themselves in no time. Many hosting providers will even include them in their services. As a matter of fact, we even do that here at Raio. With SSL and HTTPS included for anyone who signs up to be hosted on our web servers. If you’d like to learn more about that, as always, give us a shout.