Lately, there has been a lot of talk surrounding something called a SSL. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer and helps encrypt valuable/personal information when entered onto a website. Since making the need for a SSL on websites even more important this past July, Google intends to have everyone secure their sites with a valid SSL in the near future. What exactly is a SSL and what does it mean for you? Besides being in good standing with Google, obtaining an SSL for your website can have several other benefits as well.
Google – Google themselves positively identifies sites with SSL and negatively identifies those without SSL. What does this mean for your website? If your website does not have a SSL, it will have lower ranking than sites that do. To ensure good standing, it would be beneficial to secure a SSL certificate.
Customer’s Protection – Aside from having a better search listing and standing with Google, SSLs help ensure safety when sensitive information is submitted. Contact information, credit card numbers, and other important information that could be entered on a site are far more secure with a valid SSL certificate encrypting the data. When visiting a site secured with a SSL, the site will let you know that it is secure, giving visitors peace of mind. The site will also let you know if it does not have a SSL and ask if you want to proceed “unsecured”. Securing a SSL could mean more trust in your site, resulting in a higher visitor count.
Your Own Protection – Just as a SSL can help protect information submitted to the website, SSL certificates can also protect the site itself against phishing and other cyber-attacks. Phishing attacks onto your site can result in not only your customer’s information being stolen, but also your own valuable information as well. Cyber-attacks can do a number of things to a website, including coding and server issues that will completely take it down. Securing a SSL helps prevent these malicious events from occurring.
Although websites can still operate without SSL currently, the trend appears to be going in the direction of internet-wide SSL usage. To avoid penalizations from Google, achieve a better search ranking, and develop a better sense of trust with your customers – Obtaining a SSL for your website is highly recommended. This recommendation is even more so for websites that frequently collect sensitive data such as credit card and social security numbers. There are several outlets available to obtain a SSL. Paid SSL options exist, as well as free versions to help secure your site.