SSL: Part 1 – What is an SSL and why is it important?

Did you know that 68% of internet users believe that current laws for protecting their rights are not good enough?

If you’re the owner of a business website or oversee your company’s website, you’re likely to have been contacted by your server provider recently, urging you to buy an SSL certificate for your website. Server providers like GoDaddy and 123Reg have been reaching out because of changes by Google that will supposedly have a negative impact on the way your website will display.

!Chrome browsers will soon start shaming your unencrypted website for serving an unsecured HTTP version to the users!

As part of its endeavour to greater online security, Google announced earlier this year that it will flag all unencrypted websites (those without an SSL) by the end of 2017 by displaying a ‘Not Secure’ message in the URL bar.

This means you might need to make changes to your website. So, here’s everything you need to know:

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and is also referred to occasionally as TLS – Transport Layer Security. It’s just a term for the security protocol that helps encrypt information sent over a device network.

A valid SSL Certificate is an assurance that the information that you share on your website will be sent in a private, safe way.

Why is it important?

The information you send on the Internet is passed from device to device to reach the destination server. If a website isn’t encrypted with an SSL certificate, any device between you and the server can see your personal information submitted, such as contact information, payment details, usernames and passwords.

Should I upgrade my website to SSL?

twoblue-ssl-typingIn short, yes. Why? Because it is more secure for your users. Does your site have any of the below features?

Forms and text input – This includes contact forms, search bars and login panels

SEO – If you care about SEO and traffic, you should upgrade. With SSL, you’ll enjoy a minor albeit beneficial signal boost to your SEO campaign (wahoo for SEO!)

Security – If you care about your site’s security, you should upgrade

HTTP:// – if your URL doesn’t have an ‘s’ after HTTP, it means your site isn’t secure

If any or all the above relates to you, we’d highly recommend implementing an SSL to avoid showing a “Not Secure” warning in visitor’s browsers.

What does it look like?

  1. 🔒 The secure security status is the one you may have seen already (if you use Chrome). It’s the green lock, which means a SSL certificate correctly installed and the site is secured.
  2. 🔓 The info or not secure status means the website isn’t using a private connection.
  3. ⚠️ The not secure or dangerous security status, which is a website that’s flagged as dangerous. Google plans for all website without an SSL certification to display the ‘not secure’ red triangle in Chrome browsers by the end of 2017.

 

Learn how to get your site SSL certified in part two of three part blog series

 

*Banner image courtesy of descrier.co.uk

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