What Is SSL And Why Do You Need It?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is essentially a way of making your site as safe and secure as possible for users, including yourself, to use. SSL provides an encrypted connection that helps protect input details from being accessed by hackers. It also protects your website from phishing scams, data breaches and other online threats.

It is estimated that about two thirds of all websites currently don’t have an SSL or TLS certificate. If your site requests personal information from users, such as bank details, home addresses or dates of birth, we highly recommend ensuring you have SSL enabled. 

Is SSL security really that important?

In short, yes SSL security is really important for your business. In today’s world, online theft and fraud are all too commonplace. In just 3 months from March to June 2020, the British National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre claim roughly £16.6 million was lost to online scammers.

Ensuring your site meets some basic SSL protocols is a great way to protect your customers’ sensitive information as well as your own. An estimated 30,000 websites are hacked every day. If you or other operators need to login to access the back-end of your website, without an SSL server certificate you leave yourself open to fraudsters who could hack into and take over your whole site.

Will customers know if I haven’t enabled SSL on my site?

SSL websites are pretty easy to spot for most web users, regardless of what web browser your customer is using. This is mainly down to web browser providers putting protocols in place and encouraging all website owners to make an effort to keep user data safely secured.

On Google Chrome for example, a small padlock image will appear to the far left of the address bar, indicating that a site is using SSL and is therefore safe for you to enter private information. If you do not have site SSL however, Google Chrome will show users a clear “NOT SECURE” warning to the left of the address bar.

Providers such as Firefox will similarly mark sites as “NOT SECURE” and even remind users that the site is not secure when they go to enter passwords. On other search engines, websites that start with “HTTPS” (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) clearly indicate to users that they have SSL connectivity. 

If a web address starts with just “HTTP”, most savvy consumers know that this site is not secure, and they will likely be less inclined to type in their credit card numbers. You don’t need us to tell you, this would not be good for business.

How do I protect my site?

SSL certificates are the basic standard for encrypting the information customers input to your site. This makes it extremely difficult for hackers to access customer information as it is sent to and stored in your web server. Without SSL, you put your customers at risk of having their data breached, allowing hackers to view and even edit customer data at their own leisure.

If you are looking for an even more secure way to protect your site, you may want to consider other types of certificate, such as TLS (Transport Layer Security). The terms SSL and TLS are sometimes used interchangeably, but it’s important to note that TLS is a more advanced way to protect your site. 

Like SSL certificates, the most reliable TLS certificates are issued by certificate authorities such as Let’s Encrypt, SSL.com, Comodo or DigiCert, which will let you secure multi domains with just one SSL certificate. There are a range of SSL certificates available, including an EV certificate (Extended Validation), DV certificate (Domain Validated) and OV certificate (Organization Validated). Each of these basically does the same job but is offered by different providers.

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Are there other bonuses to getting an SSL certificate?

Not only will a Secure Sockets Layer certificate keep your data secure, but it will also help build customer trust in your website and brand. If you’re running an ecommerce site, with customer trust comes an increased likelihood that you will attract more and even repeat buyers to your site. 

In 2014, search engine Google changed its rules to help increase industry standards in online security, meaning that SSL secured sites would rank higher in search results over sites that are not similarly certified. This makes having an SSL certificate great for SEO, as your services are more likely to show up in customer search results, which can help boost your web traffic and, ultimately, your sales.

With organisations like Google taking the lead, it has fast become an industry norm to expect websites to be encrypted. Furthermore, 43% of people are worried about security issues when shopping online. While helping to boost your web traffic, having an SSL certificate also fills consumers with confidence to buy from your site, rather than put them off for fear their personal data might be appropriated. 

Why should I get an SSL certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer will help protect your website from any potential hackers, and therefore reduce your risk of facing down time due to phishing scams. Down time means loss of earnings for most e-commerce sites, so you’ll want to avoid being hacked as much as possible.

Not only is SSL good for you and your business, but it will also help protect your customers’ personal details, usernames and passwords, and credit card information which hackers could use to exploit.

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For more information about starting your own SSL certificate signing request, read this SSL guide that goes into more detail about the technological side of SSL and TLS protocol. A comprehensive guide to selecting the best SSL certificate provider for your business can also be found on the PC Mag website.

Now you know everything there is to know about SSL and why it’s important for your business, ensure you’ve got everything set up as it should be with support from our business concierge service. As well as help with IT, our packages can also help you with HR, accounting and law.

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.