When collecting information from your users, you want to ensure that their data is as safe as possible. This is especially important if you’re doing any online transaction; you don’t want your customers’ credit card information or other personal details stolen. That’s where SSL comes in.
An SSL certificate isn’t just for business sites when you think about it. Any website can benefit from the added layer of security that comes with having one. Not only does this help keep customer data safe, but it also gives your site a boost in search engine results and makes it seem more credible to visitors. So if you’re not already using an SSL certificate, now is the time to consider getting one!
This article will discuss different aspects of SSL – from its definition and benefits to its misconceptions.
- What Is SSL? How Does SSL Work?
- How Will SSL Certificates Help You?
- When Is an SSL Certificate Necessary for Your Website?
- What Will Happen if I Don't Have an SSL Certificate?
- What Are the Disadvantages of SSL?
- Where Can I Get an SSL Certificate for My Website?
What Is SSL? How Does SSL Work?
SSL is a security protocol that helps keep your information safe when browsing the web. It creates an encrypted connection between your browser and the web server, so your data can’t be easily accessed by hackers or other third parties. This helps keep your information secure and prevents others from accessing or modifying it.
When setting up an HTTPS website, you’ll need to get an SSL certificate. Certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CA). The CA then will use your Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to create the actual certificate.
You can either buy a certificate or get one free from some providers like Let’s Encrypt and ZeroSSL.
The CSR is a text file generated on the server where we will install the certificate. It includes your website’s domain name, contact details, and the public key to encrypt data sent between your browser and the webserver. When someone tries to access your website, the webserver will send them a copy of the certificate for verification.
If everything goes according to plan, you’ll be able to access the website securely via HTTPS. You should see a padlock icon in your browser’s address bar.
How Will SSL Certificates Help You?
Why do you need an SSL certificate? Well, having one is not just about protecting sensitive data. Here are some other reasons why it’s important:
1 – SSL Helps You Improve Website Security
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is essential to any website. It provides an extra layer of security against malicious attacks. SSL certificates are vital for websites that accept transactions. However, even if your site doesn’t do this, you still need to protect users’ login details, addresses, and other personal information.
If you’re using a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it’s likely using HTTP – which is a less secure text-based protocol. On the other hand, HTTPS uses cryptographic keys to encrypt data, making it more difficult for potential attackers to intercept your traffic.
So, the HTTPS protocol protects your website against digital threats like man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. These attacks happen when someone intercepts the traffic between the website’s server and the client’s browser.
Suppose you’re worried about someone intercepting your internet traffic and stealing your information. In that case, you should know that using an SSL certificate can help protect you. Attackers may try to steal data by either stealing information exchanged or redirecting traffic to a phishing website. But even if they manage to intercept your connection, having an SSL certificate will ensure that they cannot decrypt the information passed.
2 – SSL Establishes Trust
One of the most important aspects of a successful online business is building trust with your customers. Some shoppers are hesitant to enter their credit card details on a website they don’t trust. Research shows that 17% of them abandon their carts because of this.
This is a serious concern, as losing potential sales can damage your business. However, there are several things you can do to help establish trust and credibility with your customers.
SSL certificates are a critical part of online security. They let visitors know that they can safely exchange information with your website, encouraging them to use your service. Furthermore, SSL certificates help visitors verify ownership of the website before signing in or providing other sensitive information. This helps keep you ahead of competitors who don’t have SSL certificates installed on their websites.
3 – SSL Will Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization
Installing an SSL certificate isn’t just about protecting your website visitors. It can also help improve your SEO strategy. Search engines like Google and Bing have made website security a reliable signal when determining page rankings. They’re trying to provide a safe browsing experience for users. So, Google Chrome and other web browsers display a “Not Secure” warning message on all non-SSL websites to alert visitors.
If you have an SSL certificate, your site will rank higher than competitors who don’t have one. This can give you a competitive edge and improve your visibility on search engine results pages.
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When Is an SSL Certificate Necessary for Your Website?
If you run a website, getting an SSL certificate is necessary. Whether your site collects personal user data, providing a worry-free browsing experience for visitors is critical. Here are some common types of websites that need SSL certificates:
1 – SSL Is Necessary for Your Ecommerce Websites
Making sure your online store handles payments securely is essential. SSL encryption protects your customers’ information from being intercepted by unauthorized third parties – for instance, usernames, passwords, or payment details.
Some of the most popular internet browsers, like Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, warn visitors not to submit personal information on an HTTP website. This makes customers worry that cybercriminals might steal their credit card information, so they leave your online store.
So, you need an SSL certificate if your website collects money online – this is a requirement of PCI. Alternatively, use a payment processor like Stripe to take payments from customers.
2 – SSL Is Necessary for Your Personal Websites
When creating a website, it’s a must to ensure that your data is protected. For example, a portfolio website is just as vulnerable as an eCommerce website. That’s why it’s important to use SSL encryption when someone fills out a contact form – so hackers can’t get access to their information.
3 – SSL Is Necessary for Governmental Websites Too
Protecting users’ privacy is vital when it comes to public service agencies. The website admins must safeguard data entry forms against cybercriminals who might snoop or modify information.
4 – SSL Is Necessary for Your Static Websites
A static website doesn’t require any security or protection from hackers as it doesn’t store any data. However, the content on a static website must still be protected as hackers can target anyone who visits an HTTP site.
What Will Happen if I Don’t Have an SSL Certificate?
Security attacks have advanced along with technology. The average cost of a data breach in 2021 is $4.24 million. SSL certificates can help prevent and minimize cyberattack risks.
Although cyber-attacks may result in financial losses, their real damage is often to a company’s reputation. A single breach can endanger the privacy of millions of users and cast doubt on a business’s ability to protect its customers’ data. The Equifax data breach is a prime example of the damage to reputation caused by a cyberattack.
This is a huge security issue. Equifax is a big credit reporting agency in the United States. Its systems were breached in September 2017, compromising the personal information of 148 million Americans. Later, they revealed that their SSL certificates had passed their expiration date. They could have prevented this if they had taken the proper precautions.
Equifax agreed to a $425 million global settlement to compensate customers affected by the data breach. But it’s hard to know exactly how much damage was done since customers’ trust and business reputation can be tough to measure.
And if your website gets visitors from the European Union, you have to comply with GDPR law. This is a rule to protect EU citizens’ personal information and privacy online. If you don’t follow it, you could be fined up to €20 million.
At Rovity, we offer free A+ graded SSL Certificates for all of your domains and subdomains.
What Are the Disadvantages of SSL?
You’ve probably heard that SSL certificates offer many benefits – and you’re right! But some people still have misconceptions about HTTPS websites. This section will address some of the most common myths about SSL certificates and HTTPS security.
1 – The Speed of a Website Decreases When Moving From HTTP to HTTPS
Speed is a big concern when it comes to website performance. Many people think that HTTP websites load faster than HTTPS ones since the latter has to encrypt data before transferring or receiving it. But don’t worry, SSL encryption won’t slow your site down. In fact, the new HTTP/2 protocol used in SSL can actually speed things up!
2 – You Can Keep Your Site Completely Secure With SSL Certificates
Installing an SSL certificate is an excellent way to improve your site’s security. Still, it doesn’t mean that your site is hackproof. You still need to be careful with your account and password and ensure your website stays updated and free of malware.
With an SSL certificate and these security measures, your website will be much more secure for both you and your visitors.
3 – Sites That Process Payments Only Need SSL Protection
Suppose you run a personal blog or a business site. Criminals can compromise your internet security if they get their hands on vital information.
Hackers can use email addresses provided in web forms to guess login credentials and try to log in to other websites. So, all websites where visitors provide their personal information, such as membership sites, need an SSL certificate for added security.
4 – SSL Is Only Required for Login Pages
Other people could hijack your website sessions if you’re not using HTTPS. It’s dangerous to access websites over public WiFi networks in coffee shops or airports.
SSL protection is essential for your online security – it helps keep your browsing experience more secure in every page session.
5 – It’s Expensive to Get an SSL Certificate
Suppose you’re looking for a way to add SSL security to your website. In that case, many hosting companies offer free SSL certificates with their plans. There are different SSL certificates, and some providers also sell them at affordable prices.
No matter what type of certificate you choose, get it from a reputable certificate issuing authority.
Where Can I Get an SSL Certificate for My Website?
Before buying an SSL certificate, determine what type of security your website needs and your budget.
Getting an SSL certificate installed depends on how and where your website is hosted. Typically, your hosting company can install it for you. At Rovity, all of our hosting plans come with free SSL certificates. It’s easy to install them – you just need to access your DirectAdmin control panel. The process should only take a few minutes.
Suppose you got your certificate from a different provider or bought it separately. You then need to configure WordPress to use HTTPS by setting up a redirect through the dashboard or installing an SSL plugin like Really Simple SSL.
When you’re browsing the web, it’s important to feel safe and secure. That’s why websites use SSL certificates to keep your information private. This makes it easier for people to trust your website and improves the overall browsing experience.
SSL is important for two reasons: it protects your site against malicious intent and helps your SEO performance. Secure websites have a more incredible opportunity to rank better on search engine results pages.
But an SSL certificate is just the first step in protecting your website from attackers. It would be best to take other security measures to keep your visitors safe.
I hope this article has cleared up any doubts you may have had about why you need an SSL certificate. If you have questions about SSL certificates or need help getting one for your site, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
If you are looking for a WordPress hosting company, you can try Rovity. We offer free A+ graded SSL certificates, which are excellent for security. Our customer service is also top-notch, so you can trust that your website is in good hands.