What is an SSL certificate and do you need one?

If you have a website, you may have heard or read about SSL certificates. You also may have noticed that some website URLs start with http while others have https. The “s” means that the website has secure encryption, or an SSL certificate. If your site asks visitors for sensitive information like credit cards, addresses, or financial information, let’s keep talking.

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. More basically, it encrypts the data that goes from a user’s computer to the target website and back. When a user enters personal information into your website, SSL checks that it can securely travel from their browser to your web server. Adding an SSL certificate creates a safe connection for activities like buying products or services or requesting home addresses.

Does your website need SSL?

If your website asks for any form of personal information from its visitors (or if the thought of being hacked sends shivers down your spine like it does ours), you need an SSL certificate. As we progress further into the Digital Age, search engines are becoming more strict with sites that are perceived as “non-secure”. Referring back to http vs https, sites without SSL will remain http. Browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have started issuing warnings that non-https sites are insecure. You may have noticed this on some sites depending on your chosen browser. Google recently started using SSL as a ranking signal, meaning sites without SSL will be buried among pages of search results, resulting in less traffic to your site.

Your website communicates with your customers to share information and deliver your selling point. Your customers should feel safe sharing their personal information with your site in return. An SSL certificate works as a protective umbrella for your site’s transactions and your customers, helping to build a foundation of trust between your business and its clients.

It’s important to note that no website is too small to be targeted. Our team at Aaron Rich Marketing can help to secure your site.Contact us today to get started!


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