What is SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and Why is it Important?

If you hear the term SSL being thrown around when talking about websites, it stands for Secure Socket Layer. Basically, it’s a special little protocol that does a big and important job on the web. It protects any sensitive information as it’s being transmitted. Any information being sent between a user and the site is encrypted as it’s being sent over. It is only decrypted when it’s received on the other end. This is crucial in protecting your site and your users.

If a hacker tries to intercept information as it is going from point A to point B, he may still be able to get it but it will be useless. The hacker won’t be able to read any of the information due to the SSL certificate you’ve put in place. As you can imagine, hackers are not big fans of secure websites, but Google and other search engines certainly are and you should be too.

Why do I need a SSL on my site?

If your site takes any type of text like input panels, contact forms, search bars, personal information, etc., you need a SSL. If your site currently has an “http” and not an “https”, it needs a SSL to gain that “s” that stands for secure. When your site has its SSL, users will not only see the “s” in the address, but also a small padlock in front of your URL, telling them that the site is indeed protected. Many times the search bar also turns green which is another indicator.

If you don’t have a SSL certificate for your site, you’re going to want to get one ASAP. Google is cracking down on unsecure sites. As Google Chrome version 62 is being released, any site that does not have its SSL will be tagged with a red triangle with an exclamation point in the search bar. It will also say the words “not secure” just so that there’s no confusion. As soon as the user types in the address he or she will know the site is not secure.  Most likely he or she will not continue for fear that their personal information will be compromised. This will not only impact your web traffic, but also your bottom line.

Google Isn’t Alone

Google isn’t the only company cracking down on unsecure websites. Firefox also tags sites without an SSL by using a small padlock with a red diagonal slash through it. It’s only a matter of time before all websites without a SSL will be marked as non-secure on all search engines.

While you may think Google and other search engines are looking to punish websites by inserting immediate privacy alerts, they are only trying to protect businesses and users from the growing number of cybercrimes. No one wants their credit card information or other vital personal information to get into the wrong hands. A SSL certificate is just one way to prevent this from happening.

What happens if I don’t have a SSL certificate?

When your site is not secure, a secure connection cannot be established. This means any information cannot be digitally protected, opening up a playground for hackers wanting to get their hands on credit card numbers and other types of information they shouldn’t have access to. That’s why Google and other search engines are implementing security alerts.

What are the benefits of SSL?

The benefits of having a SSL for your website are endless. Why would you want to make it easier for hackers to be successful? Why wouldn’t you want to protect critical information? It not only protects your site, but also your visitors. Here’s a look at some of the other benefits of having a secure website:

  • Credibility. When users see that little padlock, they know that you are operating a credible site that cares about its users. They will be more likely to do business with your site and possibly refer it to others.
  • Authenticity. There’s no lying when you have a SSL. The certificate is specific to your domain. Users know you are who you say you are and are not trying to trick them into being someone else just to steal their information.
  • Professional. It’s just good business sense to have a SSL certificate. It boasts a sense of professionalism that is crucial in a competitive business world. It shows you came to play and are in it to win it.
  • Quicker Mobile Site Uploads. Sites with their SSL have AMP. This means they upload to the users device very quickly. AMP technology is dependent on a website being secure. The quicker your site can load, the better it is for your Google ranking. If a user has to sit around and wait forever for your site to load, chances are they’re going to move on to another site faster than you can say SSL.
  • Allows for Payments. Sites with their SSL certificate can accept credit card payments. The payment card industry demands an SSL certificate for sites wanting to take credit cards.
  • Protects you from Hackers. Cybercriminals are smart…very smart, to say the least, but having a secure website makes you smarter. Hackers can spot weaknesses in your network and will use them to their advantage to gain access to vital information. Don’t play into their hands by not having an SSL.

How do I get a SSL certificate?

Getting a SSL certificate is not difficult, but it’s not something you want to play guessing games with either by trying to figure it out yourself. Whether you have a current website or are looking to build one and implement a SSL right away, the experts at Portside Marketing can help you through the process. We will make sure your site is as secure as it can be.

Contact Portside Marketing at (972) 979-9316 to let us set up your SSL certificate and protect you and your users from cybercriminals.