What is SSL and why do I need it?
Yes! It is now advised that every website should have an SSL certificate.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is the backbone of a safe Internet and shields your sensitive information as it progresses across the world’s computer networks. Critically for safeguarding your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.
SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information
The prime basis why SSL is used is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it. This is essential because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your sensitive details such as credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate. You will know a website has an SSL as the website address in the browser will have “https://” before the website address, as seen here on our website below.
HTTPS safeguards against phishing attacks. A phishing email is an email sent by a culprit who tries to impersonate your website. The email usually appears to come from a well-known organization and ask for your personal information — such as credit card number, social security number, account number or password. With SSL, it will be very difficult for these culprits to receive a genuine SSL certificate, they won’t be able to perfectly impersonate your site.
SSL Provides Authentication
Aside from encryption, a genuine SSL certificate also provides authentication. This means you can be sure that you are sending information to the right server and not to an imposter trying to take your information.
Why is this important? When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This safeguards it from hackers and identity thieves.
The essence of the Internet means that your customers will often be sending information through several computers. Any of these computers could pretend to be your website and trick your users into sending them personal information. It is only possible to avoid this by getting an SSL Certificate from a trusted SSL provider.
Why is Google suddenly penalizing website’s that don’t have an SSL
Traditionally, it was only recommended you have an SSL certificate if you are taking credit card information or login details on your website. However, as Google is now flagging all websites without an SSL certificate, even if they don’t take in this information, an SSL certificate is recommended on all websites. Undoubtedly, Google loves its users and therefore, is coming up with every possible way to make us feel secure here on the internet.
Not only is its good business practice to protect customer’s personal data and build their trust, but Google has been rewarding secure sites that use an SSL certificate with a slight boost to their SEO. However, Google has also begun penalizing sites for not using SSL. Another way to put it, if your competitor has an SSL Certificate (aka, a site URL that begins with https) and you don’t, your competition is probably going to come up higher than you are. Simply put, Google prioritizes sites that prioritize safety
Google Chrome has introduced a ‘non-secure’ message on all websites that do not have an SSL certificate installed, to alert users when filling out forms on insecure web pages. If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it will display a ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar.
Disadvantages of SSL
- Cost is an obvious disadvantage. SSL providers need to set up a trusted infrastructure and validate your identity so there is a cost involved. This has been alleviated by increased competition in the industry and the introduction of providers.
- Performance is another disadvantage to SSL. Because the information that you send must be encrypted by the server, it takes more server resources than if the information weren’t encrypted. The performance difference is only noticeable for websites with very large numbers of visitors and can be minimized with special hardware in such cases.
Overall, the disadvantages of using SSL are few and the advantages far outweigh them. It is critical that you properly use SSL on all websites. The genuine use of SSL certificates will help protect your customers, help protect you, and help you to gain your customer’s trust and sell more.