If you’re thinking of getting your first website, or upgrading your website, you’ll be wanting to have a conversation about SSL with your website designer. What’s an SSL certificate got to do with websites? Secure sockets layer (SSL) is a type of security that protects customer names, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers and other sensitive data.
It’s very important if you deal with anything to do with customer data. It’s also a step in making your business GDPR compliant. It’s also becoming important for SEO now that Google is using it for ranking purposes. That’s right, if you don’t have an SSL certificate the search engines will tell the world that your site may not be safe to use!
An SSL Certificate Isn’t Actually a Certificate
An SSL certificate is a small data file that’s held on your server. It contains a cryptographic key that’s bound digitally to your organisation details. When activated on your website your domain name will be prefixed with the letters HTTPS instead of HTTP.
You may also see a little padlock indicating visually that your website is secure!
The Benefits of SSL for Your Website
- It Makes Consumers Feel Safe – When your site is secure and they know it’s secure, they’re going to be much more likely to make a purchase on your site than if you didn’t have it. Customers are becoming savvier, so it’s important that you upgrade your site to have SSL.
- Ensures Credit Card Compliance – You can’t take credit cards via authorize.net unless you have your own SSL. You can use PayPal and Stripe without it, but as you get more business you’ll likely want to have your own authorize.net account so that you can give your customers more options.
- It’s GDPR Friendly – For any website that collects any sort of user data and asks for payment for anything, you’ll need to show that you’re protecting their data.
- It Keeps Information Safe – SSL encrypts so that only those who are supposed to get the information can read it. It specifically encodes private information so that other people can’t access and get that information and use it criminally.
- It Provides Authentication – When you get an SSL, it gives a layer of authentication. Customers can view the documents to validate that you are who you say you are. This gives them reassurance.
- Protects Against Phishing – What phishers do is they find a way to trick customers into going to a fake site where they get the users’ information and use it illegally. Sometimes they trick users with pretending shipping info or other ways to get the information, and you can protect them with this simple addition.
- Will Improve Your Brand Image – One thing is for sure; having SLL certificates can make your site look a step above sites without it. This is especially true if you can get a site seal that shows you have trusted security on your website.
SSL is another thing to add to the list of things you need in a web designer. Remember, web design is more than pretty graphics – it’s privacy and security in the design.