What is an SSL Certificate? How Important is it For Your Website?

Security breaches, scams, identity theft, malware, account passwords stealing, website hacking, phishing, pharming, cyber attacks and ransomware, to name a few – we’re sure you’ve heard of most of them, if not all. All of these attacks have one thing in common – they can be prevented with SSL. SSL is what will save you from a whole host of problems. Want to know just what SSL is, why it’s important and what it can do for you?

 WHAT IS SSL?

SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ and it’s the industry standard technology for creating a safe and encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. This encrypted connection safeguards the data passed between web servers and browsers, ensuring that all information remains confidential.

 HOW SSL WORKS?

Similarly to how we use keys to lock and unlock items, SSL use keys to validate, encrypt and safeguard confidential information. These keys are public and private and come in the form of a ‘Certificate Signing Request’ (CSR) that is constructed on the server itself. The public key is employed for encrypting (locking) confidential information, whilst the private key is employed for decrypting (unlocking) the information so that it can be viewed.

 DO I NEED SSL?

In a nutshell, yes. It’s not a legal requirement, but having an SSL certificate on your website will save you a ton of problems down the line and safeguarding sensitive information falls under the Data Protection Act.

SSL is important because it ensures that sensitive information such as your bank details are encrypted and go where it is supposed to go. Imagine if you were online shopping on an eCommerce website and putting in your bank details to purchase items onto a browser with no SSL certificate. Your bank details could be decrypted, leading to scams and identity theft as computers in between you and the web server would be able to see your bank details, login details and passwords. If a browser does not have SSL, there will be security concerns and a lack of trust in a website.

ARE THERE OTHER SSL CERTIFICATE ADVANTAGES?

There are also two more SSL certificate advantages, which are SEO improvements and the promotion of customer confidence and trust. Google actually gives a slight ranking boost to websites that have an SSL certificate. Ranking boosts are important in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), because if your site is at the top of Google search results, it indicates that your website is trusted, secure and certified. When shopping online, customers are putting their trust into your brand and eCommerce site – they expect you to have integrity, honesty, and to treat customers respectfully with their bank details and money. An SSL certificate further validates and adds another layer of integrity to your business. Websites and website owners with an SSL certificate are recognised instantly as being who they say they are, and they are trusted fully with sensitive information.

Need SSL protection? Contact Profound today.

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