SSL Certificate, a must have for all business owners
Running a website without an SSL Certificate is almost unthinkable nowadays. Gone are the days where the internet is safe enough to be free for all – even giant tech companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, and Uber have experienced data leaks in recent years that profoundly impacted their reputation.
What is an SSL Certificate?
You would have probably noticed that subtle green secured lock on your browser’s address bar for quite some time now. Unknowingly, it gives you a sense of security – but do you know what it means? Here comes the technical definition – SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”, and digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. It activates the HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol, the secure version of HTTP, to allow secure connections from a web server to a browser. To put it in a nutshell, an SSL certificate protects confidential information being transmitted from your site, keeping unpleasant hackers out of the way, giving you and your readers a peace of mind.
Do you know that since the end of 2017, Google Chrome has been flagging out websites without an SSL certificate as “Not Secure”? If your site does not have an SSL certificate yet, you should be worried. When struck with the dreary “Your connection is not private” page, readers would most likely hit the “Back to safety” button without any hesitation, and give your website a miss. Similarly, Firefox also displays an unsecured icon to warn users of potential data breaches through the website. Other web browsers such as Safari and Opera are also following suit, given how HTTPS is inching towards becoming an industry benchmark. This raises the need for encryption to a whole new level, especially for e-commerce websites.
Comparison between with and without an SSL certificate
It is not only a plus point for websites to establish themselves as secure through tools such as the SSL certificate, but in fact, a subtle prerequisite for them to stay rooted in the market. If you want to gain the most basic level of trust among savvy consumers, having an SSL certificate is unquestionable. In an age of massive data breaches, you surely would not want to lose a potential customer to your competitors because of the lack of an SSL certificate. Simply put, it is an indispensable part of any e-commerce website’s branding strategy in today’s day and age.
Before you drift off with the misconception that an SSL Certificate is only necessary for e-commerce websites that collect sensitive information, hang on for a minute. Data can be collected and managed in so many ways today. Any website that collects any ounce of personal information would need this certificate to make sure that they do not get themselves into trouble at the end of the day. Think that you can give the certificate a miss because the nature of the information that you collect is less sensitive? Think again.
Opinions, profile data points, contact details – all these matters to your customers’ right to privacy. As customers, one would expect site owners to be responsible for the ownership of the data they collect. Besides needing an SSL certificate to secure credit card transactions, data transfer, and login information, it is also being increasingly used in social media websites and protects against phishing attacks, preventing your users from being unnecessarily redirected to malicious websites.
Does an SSL Certificate boost SEO ranking?
Accountability aside, it also catapults your website to the top pages of search engines. Google has made it clear that the presence of an SSL Certificate pushes the ranking of your website and allows it to reach out to more users in the vast sea of websites. We live in an age where users cannot live without search engines – we rely on them for everything, from work to our day to day activities. Without the SSL certificate, do not be surprised if you find your web traffic plummeting from Google Analytics data. The only direction your web ranking will be going is down, and it probably would not feel so good then. What a waste, if your ranking suffers purely because of the lack of a basic web certificate. Google is the top search engine out there and the sharp ones would know that it is wise to follow and play their game.
Fret not, do not be intimidated yet – there are different types of certificates for various needs out there. The standard Domain Validation certificate suits personal blogs and websites and is the easiest and least expensive to maintain, given that the information they need to protect is less sensitive. The Organisation Validation certificate suits businesses and non-profit organizations, as it gives more security whilst collecting less sensitive information than payment details. Finally, the Extended Validation certificate is most widely used for e-commerce websites, providing top-tier rigorous identity verification process. It provides the most assurance and confidence to consumers who trustingly provide sensitive information for commerce and services via the internet.
Finally, here comes the million-dollar question – how does the cost of an SSL certificate play against its benefits? You can be well-assured that it is as minimal and unnoticeable as it gets when weighed against its indispensable advantages in the present day. Simply future-proof your website with an SSL Certificate today.