Why Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificate creates secure connection and builds 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 doubly important to provide safe environment for customers. Especially, when it comes to online purchases implying client personal data input.

There are many ways to protect 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 way of protection is not only effective but also visible for visitors. With recent Google update for all HTTP websites browsed with Google Chrome, presence or absence of the SSL certificate is obvious as never 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, 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). SSL certificate is a cryptographic protocol for 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 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 data theft possibility 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 exclamation point inside the grey circle. Such 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 planning on adding a bold red triangle.

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

The thing is, the ‘not secure’ notification plus red color often can be misinterpreted. Visitors in ignorance of details can think that their computer is already under hacker attack and will leave your website immediately with zero chance to come back.

And in reverse, aware visitors seek for the green padlock before they even think of inputting any personal data or committing purchases. Google Chrome now made it more obvious by adding ‘Secure’ word.

Now you know what SSL is and what it serves for. The main target is to protect users’ personal information on the 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 online presence, you should pay attention to the changes that are taking place in the new versions of Google Chrome.

For what kind of websites SSL is really necessary?

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 cards information is  very sensitive data and should be encrypted in the first place.

If your website requires registration for further actions or offers subscription. To subscribe to the newsletter or mailing, filling fields like email address, phone, password and name is 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, personal information via forms. And they have the right to keep this data between you and them. Protect your users’ rights by 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 the ‘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 safeness. Cyber security should be your initial concern. Your visitors will thank you.