Is it really important to use SSL Certificates on websites? Only if you plan on gaining the trust of your customers and ranking well in the search engines. Let me ask you would you buy from a website that didn’t take the security of your private information seriously? I am almost certain you would not and for good reason…Your money and identity matter to you.
If you own a website or are even thinking of starting one you will need a SSL Certificate. For years having an SSL Certificates were more like a luxury that not everyone had. However, big changes happened in the way that not only shoppers online viewed insecure websites, but also how the search engines began viewing them and now penalize them.
The Google push for SSL Certificates
The push by Google to require all websites to have an SSL by the end of 2017 was a huge step forward in the way internet safety was viewed. For years people searched the net not knowing whether a website was going to take the security of their information seriously or not. Yes Google did show you whether a website had a SSL Certificate by showing the Https:// in the domain address of the search, but most people just took it for granted that a website was safe just because it showed up on Google’s search engine. While search engines the vast majority of their algorithms on the content that a website provided to give out their page rankings this did nothing to really protect the billions of people from criminals.
With millions of website showing in the search engines it was estimated by Mozilla Firefox that 1/2 of the websites on the internet in 2017 were still not secure.
The change that took effect at the beginning of 2018 will only help the internet as a whole become a safer place for users. The safety push by Google and the major browsers is a step in the right direction to combat identity theft and the billions lost each year to cyber crime.
So how can an SSL Certificate protect your website and visitors?
The way a SSL Certificate works is by protecting the information being shared between the website server and the client/visitor. When a certificate is installed it encrypts every bit of information that is shared between the two, making it almost impossible for cyber criminals to decipher the information. This is due to the use of a data lock that can only be opened by the intended recipients browser or server. Since only the two parties who are communicating have the only keys to this information no one else can open and see it.
When you visit a website you want to know that it is secure and who they say they are. This is one of the most important aspects of the SSL Certificate and the providers. The internet is a great place for you to find the information you need, shopping, gaming and more. However, deception is part of your daily life on the internet and knowing that a website you visit is legitimate is part of the battle that you wage when surfing. There are countless stories around the net about people who have been deceived, had their lives stolen through fake websites and so much more. The websites you visit should be secure and help to prevent as much of this from happening as possible.
Website owners have to go through a validation process that is set in place by a Certificate Authority. These companies will verify the identity of the website owner. Now the amount of verification required will be determined by the type of certificate that they are purchasing, but all website owners must be verified to help ensure that they are who they say they are.
So how does this really help you? Think of it this way. If the identity of the website owner was not verified any criminal could essentially clone your website and steal the information of unsuspecting people. Obviously you don’t want that to happen. Could you imagine having your brand be the victim of a criminal who copied your website, stole your customers information and ruined your business because of it.
Enhanced search engine rankings
2014 saw Google make its first move towards requiring SSL Certificates by giving websites with HTTPS a ranking boost. Several studies have been conducted over the years including this one by Brian Dean from Backlinko that has shown the correlation between having a certificate and better Google page rankings.
So if you could get your website moved up some just because you took the safety of your visitors seriously, wouldn’t you do it?
Meeting PCI/DSS online payment requirements
Accepting online payments is serious. Knowing the PCI/DSS requirements is something that you might want to get familiar with since your website must be PCI compliant to operate. There are 12 primary requirements that must be met to satisfy the compliance and have a SSL Certificate is one of these requirements.
Here are the 12 security requirements:
- Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
- Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
- Protect stored cardholder data
- Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open and public network
- Use and regularly update anti-virus software
- Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
- Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
- Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
- Restrict physical access to cardholder data
- Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
- Regularly test security systems and processes
- Maintain a policy that addresses information security
Gain the trust of your visitors
This should be one of the things you have in your long term plan anyways. Who wants to visit a website that they don’t trust. While there are a lot of things that make people trust your website, you can begin by showing them that your website is secure and that you really care about their safety. I can’t tell you the number of times over the years that I simply bypassed a website when I did a search because I just couldn’t bring myself to trust them. I always look to see if they have a SSL Certificate. Sure there are going to be other things that will tell me whether I trust them, but just getting me to click on the their website link starts with knowing that any information that is shared is secure. The rest of my trust builds once I am on their website.
How safe do you really feel
Just a few final thoughts for you. How safe will you feel when you do a search on your web browser and website is flagged as “not secure”? The browsers are already showing this for websites that don’t have a SSL Certificate. I am pretty sure you don’t want to be one of those websites that gets a label placed on it telling people to not visit you. Somehow I am pretty sure that is going to be bad for business.
So where can you get a certificate?
We offer certificates that are both affordable and secure. Just go to our web page and view all of our SSL Certificates!