What is SSL?
SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. Basically, SSL is a protocol and more like a backbone of secure internet. It protects a visitor’s personal information whilst it is being transferred across global computer networks. It is very important to have SSL certificate, even if your website does not handle user’s credit card data.
- http: a non-secure connection to your website
- https: a secure connection to your website.
“s” in the https stands for security.
What exactly is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificate is like a data file granted from a trusted provider. SSL certificate is embedded in the root directory of your website to encrypt all of the web traffic happening between your website and server. Hence, the sensitive information on your website will be unreadable to intrusive eyes who don’t have the unique key.
- SSL certificate can be termed as a digital certificate that authenticates your website with a unique cryptographic key.
- Once SSL certificate is embedded with your website’s server, your website will be able to establish a secure session via “https” (HyperText Transport Protocol Security) connection.
- SSL establishes a secure internet for you as well as the visitor of your website.
In this way, your customers will know their personal information is safe with your website. Which in turn, boosts customer loyalty and trustworthiness.
SSL is a predecessor of TLS, which stands for Transport Layer Security. TLS is also a protocol and is the latest version of original SSL protocol. Today, TLS is the standard protocol, but people still use the name “SSL” to refer to it.
Benefits of SSL Certification:
Encryption of Sensitive Information of visitors:
Sensitive information transferred across internet is encrypted through SSL. Hence, only the intended recipient can see it. Information entered by a customer passes through different touch points (computers) before reaching its final server. One of these computers might trick your customer by pretending to be your website. And, your customer might send their personal info to them.
- If your website is not encrypted with SSL certification, any sensitive information like credit card numbers, passwords, usernames, etc. can be seen by a computer as plain text. Hackers or thieves can alter or misuse this data easily.
- With SSL certification, this sensitive information becomes virtually unreadable to all of the computers.
- SSL offers point-to-point protection and only destination server can really understand the sent data.
SSL builds Trust:
If your website is secured by SSL, visitors can see the “padlock icon” or “green bar” right next to the URL. This way, customers will trust your website more and won’t hesitate to purchase from you. A trusted SSL provider will also offer you a trust seal that will strengthen the trust of your customers even more.
“https” also protects from phishing or man-in-the-middle attacks.
SSL is in compliance with PCI:
In order for your website to accept credit card information from your customers, it must qualify specific audits. In short, it must be in compliance with security standards of Payment Card Industry (PCI). One of the basic requirements to comply with PCI is to use SSL certificate. You see the importance of SSL certificate?
If you want to connect your website with major payment processors like PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, etc. you need to have SSL certification from a trusted provider. Or else, Google will warn the users about your website’s lack of encryption.
Improves your website’s Rankings:
In January 2017, Google Chrome releases new version 56 that labels “http” websites to be non-secure. Apart from having high-quality content, good keywords use and optimized design, your website gets a slight search engine boost with SSL. Meaning, your SEO ranking on search engine results will be slightly better with SSL certification.
- According to Google, SSL certification makes a website “trusted and certified”.
- Even when your website does not have login pages, checkout pages or does not handle financial information of the customers, Google will still give preference to your site because of SSL certificate. “Search engine boost” for using SSL certificate applies to all websites.
As mentioned above, better SEO rankings will eventually generate more traffic on your website. When users see that your website is secured with SSL, it signifies “trust” and “authority”. Users might prefer to click on your website, rather than some other site that’s non-secure. Hence, SSL improves the click-through-rates of your website!
- If you are going to start a new website, it is always better to have “https” from the very 1st day.
Get SSL certificate installed on your site to ensure the best security available. You can check our cheap hosting plans with free SSL.