Why Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificate creates a secure connection and builds your customers’ trust

The Internet has improved our life significantly, but as they say, there is always a flip side. With the emergence of the Internet our personal privacy is under constant threat. For online businesses it is even more important to provide a safe environment for customers. Especially, when it comes to online purchases that require a client's personal data and financial information.

There are many ways to protect your customers' information on your website. To minimize the risks, you should consider updating your software regularly, installing antivirus and firewall protections and anti-spam filters, using a dedicated server and, of course, encrypting sensitive data via the SSL certificate.

This method of protection is not only effective but also visible for visitors. With the recent Google update for all HTTP websites browsed with Google Chrome, a presence or an absence of the SSL certificate is more obvious than ever before.

Starting October 2017 Google Chrome displays a “NOT SECURE” warning for all HTTP pages.

But let’s get back to the basics and figure out what  HTTP and HTTPS are and how they are actually connected with SSL certificates.

WHAT IS SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a security technology which establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser (e.g. Chrome) or a mail server and a mail client (e.g. Outlook). The SSL certificate is a cryptographic protocol for a private and secure connection between your website and a customer’s web browser.

WHAT are HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol and serves for data transfer all over the Web. When you type something into a website search bar and press ‘Enter,’ you send a HTTP request to the web-server. But such а connection is not secure. All your data can be intercepted and stolen by hackers for further abuse.

HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. This protocol eliminates any data theft risks via the SSL certificate installed. So, when the ‘S’ is added to HTTP, data transportation is safe.

Before October 2017, Google Chrome marked HTTP pages with an exclamation point inside a grey circle. Such a designation could be often ignored by visitors due to its obscurity. But now they’ve decided to mark pages without the SSL certificate installed as ‘ Not secure’ and eventually Google plans on adding a bold red triangle.

If your HTTP website has a password field or credit card field, or even a search bar, once customers start filling them, they will see such a warning.

The thing is, the ‘not secure’ notification in red can often be misinterpreted. Visitors who aren't aware of this can think that their computer is already under hacker attack and will leave your website immediately being afraid to return.

On the other hand, informed visitors look for the green padlock before they even think of inputting any personal data or making purchases. Google Chrome has now made it more obvious by adding the ‘Secure’ word.

Now you know what SSL is and what it stands for. Its main purpose is to protect the users’ personal information on its way from a browser to a server. The collateral effect of migrating from HTTP to HTTPS is trust and credibility.

You might think that this is only one browser among hundreds of them. But Google Chrome is the most popular web-browser in the world with approximately 60% share. If your business has an online presence, you should pay attention to the changes that are taking place in these new versions of Google Chrome.

What types of websites really need SSL?

If you sell products. If you sell goods and services and take credit card payments directly on your website, you need SSL for sure, because credit card information is  very sensitive data and should be encrypted in the first place.

If your website requires registration for further actions or offers subscriptions. To subscribe to the newsletter, filling out fields like email address, and phone numbers, a password and name are required. This data also should be protected from leaks caused by vulnerability of HTTP pages.

If your website has forms to submit. Users can submit their documents, photos, and personal information via forms. And they have the right to keep this data between you and them. Protect your users’ rights with the SSL certificate.

But what about blogs? There is no sensitive information to encrypt and you think you probably don’t need to install the SSL certificate if you’re just blogging. Well, any customer interaction with your website should be safe and confidential. Google implements security warnings not for itself but for the sake of visitors like you and your customers. You’d probably choose a ‘Secure’ page over the ‘Not secure’, wouldn’t you?

Conclusion

It’s your personal choice whether to migrate to HTTPS or not. But always remember that you can never be too careful in terms of safety. Cyber security should be your fundamental concern. Your visitors will thank you.