Before you read this article, take a look at the address bar on your web browser. Do you see a padlock or a green bar ahead of the URL? Does your URL read “http” or “https”?
Get into the habit of checking for a padlock, green bar, and “https” before you shop, log in, or send contact info to a website. These symbols represent a website secured with an SSL certificate.
If you own a business, you need an SSL certificate. Protect your customers’ information. Secure your company’s privacy. Build trust with clients by showing you care about their online safety.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a small data file that is installed on your web server, binding a cryptographic key to your organization’s details, such as domain name, server name, and hostname.
An SSL certificate provides a layer of security over a computer network using cryptographic protocols. While SSL certificates have existed for years, they have become increasingly important as we rely on email, social media communications, and online shopping now more than ever.
When installed correctly, “http” changes to “https,” the “s” standing for “secure.” The padlock and the green bar also appear, letting customers know your site is safe.
How Does an SSL Certificate Work?
An SSL certificate works by creating two keys: a public key and a private key. A key is simply a long string of random numbers. The private key belongs to your web server. The public key comes from the web browser.
When users submit information on their web browser, it is encrypted and sent to the server. It can only be decrypted by the private key on the organization’s server. This means that if a hacker intercepts information as it’s being sent from the public key to the private key, they essentially receive gibberish. It cannot be turned back into useful information until it passes through the private key.
3 Benefits of Installing an SSL Certificate
There are more benefits to having an SSL certificate installed on your web server than the obvious added layer of security. SSL certificates cost money to install, but without them, you lose customers’ trust and put your company at risk.
1. Secure Your Customers’ Information
The primary reason to have an SSL certificate is to prevent a breach of sensitive information. For ecommerce sites, a breach of data such as credit card information could mean the end of a business.
Even for sites with landing pages that only capture a name and e-mail address, it would be inconvenient and unethical to let that information leak.
2. Build Customer Trust
Customers in the know look for the green padlock when making purchases. If your site is clearly unsecured, that probably explains your bounce rate.
Worse yet, more web browsers are providing warning messages to users when they’re on an unsecured website or a website that did not get its SSL certificate from a trusted authority. An error message like this is a death warrant for your business.
3. Increased Page Rank in Google
That’s right. Google now fetches secure sites before unsecured sites. Improve your SEO by installing an SSL certificate. Google has a list of suggestions on how to make the most out of your SSL certificate.
Not Sure How to Install an SSL Certificate?
How do you know your SSL certificate is from a trusted authority? How can you be sure you’ve installed it correctly? How do you set up a server-side 301 redirect so you can point users and search engines toward your secured pages?
If you have these or other questions, contact us today. We can make your website, your business, and your customers’ information secure with an SSL certificate.