Website Security: Understanding SSL Certificates
The security of login information, e-commerce transactions and other sensitive information are just a few concerns we often hear from clients. It’s important to give thought to and protect all types of data on a website.
Last year brought many changes to the digital world, but one topic that has always been on the mind of hackers and website developers alike is that of security. The security of login information, e-commerce transactions and other sensitive information are just a few concerns we often hear from clients. It’s important to give thought to and protect all types of data on a website.
What is an SSL Certificate?
In response to the growing concern of internet security, the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) was established in 1994 with the goal of creating a path of encrypted data between the user and a server. With this path of encrypted data in place, information is almost impossible for hackers to decode without the server’s decryption (Comodo). Basically, an SSL was created to protect the users on your website from intruders who may tamper with their information.
SSL vs. Non-SSL
There are several ways you can tell if a website is using an SSL certificate. Your browser has either a secure or unsecure logo next to the URL. Also, a secure website will have HTTPS in the beginning of the URL; a non-secure website will be shown as HTTP. When a website does not have an SSL certificate, any information that passes to and from your server is vulnerable (The SSL Store). This means both the user’s information and any data you pass back to the user.
Have you ever clicked the link to a site only to have the warning pop-up that your connection may be unsecure? Do you click to proceed or stop to think about it? There’s no guessing game on whether the user’s experience will be safe when the website is using an SSL certificate. Google Chrome previously announced that they will notify users if a site they are going to use is unsecure (Professional Security Services). Google recommends users do not use a site deemed as unsecure (Google). That could drive traffic away from your website if you don’t have an SSL certificate.
Why Purchase an SSL?
In short, an SSL Certificate:
- Protects the integrity of your website
- Protects the privacy and security of your users
- Verifies that you own the site
- Gives potential customers assurance that they are safe on your site
- Provides a key to the future of the web
- Gets you one step ahead of the upcoming web changes
You Have an SSL, Now What?
Now that you have your SSL certificate, you have proven that you are in fact the owner of your site. With that certificate, your URL changes from HTTP to HTTPS and this shows your users that your site is safe. Users can now purchase and explore your site without the worry that their information may be stolen or intruders are trying to trick them into gimmicks. You also are on the right track when it comes to updating your site for future needs. Other browsers are likely to join Google in implementing these restrictions and safety features for their users. With an SSL certificate in place, it not only gives your users piece of mind, but you as well.
If you have questions about SSL certificates and website security, please contact us and we will be happy to assist!