What are SSL certificates and why are they so important for my website?
Last updated: 07/07/2022
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An SSL certificate is just as important for your website as a seatbelt is in a car. Whilst at first it may seem like an unnecessary add-on or extension, having an SSL certificate is crucial to managing a successful website in 2022. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a group of small data files that build a secure link between a web server and a browser. They help to establish an encrypted connection between customers and you to ensure that private information, transactions, and details stay private.
There are two main ways to notice if a website has an active SSL certificate. You can look at the padlock in the top left corner of the search bar (clicking it will allow you to view the SSL certificate in detail). Furthermore, the beginning of the URL can help visitors detect if you have a certificate or not. In the part of the domain reading ‘https://’, the ‘s’ shows your site has a secure connection.
Now that you understand what an SSL certificate is, let’s take a more in-depth look at its importance and the role they play in your website.
Why SSL certificates are important:
First of all, let’s start with the initial purpose of SSL certificates: to protect data. Between you and your customers, your website will transfer a lot of data. Whether it’s usernames and passwords, email address’ and passwords or even bank card information- every piece of data that someone types onto your site has to be transferred from the browser to the web server. This gives a lot of opportunities for hackers and cyber-criminals to intercept and steal the data for themselves. In the event this happens, an SSL certificate will provide a secure tunnel that is a lot harder for people to penetrate as the data moves through the internet.
SSL certificates will help to protect data such as:
- Usernames and passwords
- Credit card transactions and bank account information
- Personal information — such as full name, address, date of birth, or telephone number
- Legal documents and contracts
- Medical records
No matter what the purpose of your website is, there is a strong chance that you will need to ask customers for at least one of the above. This makes SSL certificates a necessity if customers are going to trust you with their data. But how can someone detect if a website has an active SSL certificate or not? This is where a web address (URL) will come in handy.
Web Address (URL):
As previously mentioned, websites with SSL certificates are labeled with the protocol ‘https://’, whereas ones without an SSL certificate have the protocol ‘http://’. This is a clear sign to customers if your website is safe or not. Many browsers, such as Google Chrome, will mark your website as ‘not safe’. This presents the obvious problem of lessening the chance someone will want to visit your website. Even if you haven’t knowingly put something unsafe on your website, a lack of an SSL certificate is an instant red flag to browsers.
As the internet grows and develops each day, it becomes increasingly easier to impersonate people or companies online. Whether it’s Bill Gates sending you a DM on Instagram asking for your social security number, or fake website’s being created to imitate other, successful businesses’ – it happens incredibly often. You can help keep your website clear from this by having an SSL certificate. When applying for one, you must go through a verification process. This process verifies the identity of you and your company, meaning your customers won’t have to worry about fake, misleading copies of your website.
Whilst an SSL’s primary function is security-related, they come with other benefits too. This includes boosting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SSL is a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm, meaning owning one will help contribute to ranking higher on browsers. This means that not only does an SSL certificate provide an important security service, but it also will help you reach more potential customers.
Why choose ELITE for your SSL certificate?
Hopefully, by now you understand the importance of having an SSL certificate, and the many benefits you will reap from owning one. The only problem now is acquiring one. This is where ELITEWEB.Co comes in. Elite can provide your website with a plethora of certificates to suit the needs of your website. They offer both standard and managed SSL certificates. Here are some of the variations of certificates they provide:
- Standard SSL certificates
- Premium SSL certificates
- Wildcard SSL certificates- These allow you to have a base domain + an unlimited amount of sub-domains registered to one certificate
- Managed DV (Domain Validated) SSL certificates- a simple, easy validation is required to obtain one of these cheap certificates
- Managed UCC/SAN SSL certificates- One of these certificates will secure up to 5 separate websites
If you’ve purchased an SSL certificate with Elite, you can find tips on installation here and learn how easy it is to install and use them.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to see the importance and absolute necessity of SSL certificates and why they are needed, not only as a business but as a customer too. SSL is an important tool to utilize and will undoubtedly improve your online credibility. Next time you’re asked to enter your personal information onto a website, why not have a look into the little padlock in the left-hand corner of your browser and see just how important they are.
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