What is SSL and why is it important to my business website?

People are increasingly careful about the information they share on the Internet. Similarly, just as Amazon is obsessed with customer experience and satisfaction, Google is obsessed not only with making sure users find relevant information, but that they also have safe, satisfying experiences.

For several years now, organizations such as Google have been working towards making the web a safer place by encouraging website owners to use the HTTPS protocol to ensure that data sent from a computer to the site is encrypted and securely transmitted.

Under an unencrypted HTTP connection, any information that you send across the web can be intercepted by a hacker or another bad actor. In extreme cases, someone could pose as a destination site—tricking you into handing over your credentials, credit card info, or other sensitive information.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, the technology that encrypts your connection to a website, so that hackers can’t intercept any of your data. SSL certificates are small digital files that digitally bind a cryptographic key, to an organization’s details. It allows for secure connections from a web server to a browser. It can be used to secure credit card transactions, data transfers and logins and data found on forms.

4 key reasons why your site needs to have an SSL certificate in 2019

1) Better Search Engine ranking - To ensure safer browsing in 2018, Google flagged any website that doesn’t have SSL certification by the end of 2017. It’s important to note that this change affected all websites, not just those doing ecommerce. So whether you’re a restaurant owner, lawyer, dentist, realtor or consultant, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this change doesn’t apply to you. It does.

Previously, pages that deployed HTTPS-enabled encrypted connections featured a green lock icon and the word “Secure” in the URL bar. Nowadays, when people try to access a website without an SSL certification, a ‘Not Secure’ message appears next to the address. How is that for a first impression? Well, according to HubSpot, 82% of web browsers would leave your site.

2) SSL improves customer trust – Having an SSL website helps build a sense of security for your customers. Nowadays, data breaches are so frequent that you’ll have a difficult time recruiting new prospects without an SSL certificate on your site.

3) SSL is required for e-commerce sites – SSL helps you satisfy PCI/DSS requirements. In other words, to receive online payments, your website must be PCI compliant. Having an SSL certificate installed is one of the 12 primary requirements set by the payment card industry (PCI). So if you are selling online, it’s not just important, it’s mandatory.

4) SSL is required for Mobile – AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages only function well with HTTPS sites. It’s the technology that makes pages load almost instantly on a mobile. AMP pages have better ranking since Google made it a priority.

In a consumer study dated back to 2015, only 3% of online shoppers said they would enter their credit card information on a site without the little green padlock. An SSL certificate allows you to create a safe space for your consumers, so they can browse, shop, and interact on your website safely.

Our friends at HubSpot created a fun video to explain what SSL is all about.

For more advice on how to ensure your website is encrypted with an SSL certificated, book a free consultation with us today!

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