These days, online security is on everyone’s mind as the web is increasingly integrated into our daily lives. Users want to be reassured their private information is safe and secure—and that prying eyes cannot get ahold of sensitive data. One essential way to lay the groundwork for website security is to have an SSL certificate installed on your server, which ensures your site is secure and trustworthy for customers and gives you a boost with search engines.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL certificate offers privacy and data integrity between two applications, such as the link between a web server and a browser, making sure all the data passed between remains secure and private. It encrypts the connection and blocks any third parties or hackers from being able to view data and personal information. The certificate also provides authentication – meaning information is sent to the correct server and someone can’t impersonate your website to steal private information.
How can you tell if a site has an SSL certificate?
Check out the web URL – if it begins with https instead of http, the site has an SSL certificate and is secure. Google Chrome has even gone so far as to show a green padlock symbol next to the web address when an SSL encryption is being used – making it visually obvious that the site is safe and trustworthy.
Benefits of having an SSL certificate
It keeps all of your customers’ data secure.
The most obvious and largest benefit of an SSL certificate is protecting data and private information that is transmitted through your website. Login and payment information, email addresses, user names and passwords, and other information your users enter into the site will remain protected through the encryption it provides. It is a key step towards peace of mind that your site and your customers’ data is and will remain protected.
Your customers’ trust in your site and business will increase.
Having an SSL certificate makes it known to your customers that you take security seriously and have put in the effort to keep their personal information protected. It boosts the general perception of your business and instills confidence – which may therefore reduce your bounce rate as visitors trust your site and remain there instead of moving on to a site that is secure.
It is good for search engine optimization.
Incorporating an SSL certificate into your site can give you a boost in search engine rankings. Google recognizes the importance of online security and prioritizes sites that have SSL and other security measures when ranking search results. If a site does not have SSL encryption, web browsers will usually state that the site is not secure.
Setting up an SSL certificate
As SSL certificates have become a more critical step for securing websites large and small, the process of setting one up has become much more straightforward. Check with your web development partner or hosting provider for more information on purchasing and setting up an SSL certificate.