As the holiday season quickly approaches and if past trends continue shopping online this year will be greater than any of the previous years. When you are shopping you would never hand the cashier your card, tell them your pin, address, and other confidential information that they would need to steal your identity. If you purchase online without an SSL certificate you may be handing over a lot more than you realize.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for secure sockets layer and is the green padlock that shows in your web browser of choice. When you see the padlock and it's all lit up you can be reasonably safe in knowing that your information is not going to be intercepted between yourself and the web server. When you have the padlock displayed you will also notice if your web browser shows it that the address is now https://domain.com/ rather than just http://domain.com/. That extra S
is what tells you the information is being encrypted.
SSL Isn't a Guarantee
Everything in life requires trust. We trust that the company will do it's absolute best to protect our information and prevent people from using this valuable information. We've heard about the security breaches at Target, Home Depot, Chase bank and the like. These institutions all utilized SSL to encrypt and protect your data. They did the right thing to protect your information between your home computer, tablet or mobile device and their file servers. The failure for these and other breaches are routinely due to lax processes after they receive your information (when your information is at "rest"). This is where the trust comes in. We can only make certain that we have the green padlock stating that the information between us and the web server is protected.
When should you use SSL?
If the site you're going to we recommend to all of our clients to protect every page with SSL to show the customer visiting their site that they take security seriously. Beyond that we recommend that whenever you have to enter your email address, password, or any confidential information that the information be encrytped with SSL. This could seem to be excessive to many as why would you ever need to have a contact form on a website encrypted? Great question! The reason you would do this is what prevents someone from entering in private, confidential, or other information that shouldn't be "leaked" out onto the public internet? The answer is nothing and why we encourage every one of our customers to get an SSL certificate if they have any forms on their website to protect their customers.
What are the other benefits of SSL?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The biggest benefit for having SSL on your entire site is that Google and Bing have both publically stated that if they have two sites that rank exactly the same from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective that SSL will be the tie-breaker. So if you have SSL and your competitor does not then you stand a much better chance to rank better than they do. Remember that we said all other things were equal. This means the other factors of quality content, providing information your customers want, etc. is equally critical to the success of your website in relation to the search engines.
Gain Customer Trust
Consumers remain fearful of any online activity because of the major institutions ruining everything because of their lack of focusing on security. Fraud is an important part of every consumer and we think it's rightfully so! We have all heard credit card and identify theft horror stories or, worse yet, have experienced them ourselves. When your customers see the browser green padlock on their browser they know that a best faith effort to secure their information is being done. Having an SSL certificate can help build consumer confidence and make a person more willing to doing business with you through your website, and that can lead to repeat sales and referrals.
Your goal as a business owner is to build your customers trust, convert their browsing online and make a sale by having them pay you money. Consumers are truly a bright breed and each values their money. As such, it is our job as business owners to build this trust and provide a quality product to our customers.
If you would like assistance in helping your website more secure, build customer trust, we would love to talk to you about that. You can reach us at 855-456-2669, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our online contact form here.