As the internet evolves, so do the measures designed for the protection of websites and data. The ingenuity of cyber thieves grows too. For many years now, Google and other technology companies have been working hard to make the internet a safer place by advising website owners to put specific measures in place, like the HTTPS protocol, to ensure that data sent from any user’s computer to the website they’re browsing is encrypted and safely transmitted.
In the summer of 2018, safety measures became a little less advised and a little more necessary. Google released Chrome 68, and the new version of their browser marks all websites that aren’t using the HTTPS protocol as “not secure.” Those using the protocol display “Secure” in green lettering in the URL which means their website has been secured using a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate.
What’s an SSL Certificate?
For more than two decades, SSL certificates have been used to ensure that the sensitive data of a website’s users is transferred over a secure network. Until recently, because the certificates could be expensive and complicated to install appropriately, many website owners delayed or avoided using them. Now, many initiatives offer the certificates for free, and the installation process is much easier
Is It Necessary to Have an SSL Certificate?
There are many good reasons that an SSL certificate is a good idea for all websites.
- They strengthen website security: SSL certificates are crucial in protecting the data transmitted to and from a website. They protect data like login credentials, payment information, personal information, and more. The certificates encrypt the connection to protect the data from being intercepted by hackers. They also help safeguard your website against potential data breach.
- Protection for all subdomains: Wildcard SSL certificates are available for sites that use various subdomains (like blog.yourdomain.com) and can be set up to provide complete coverage as opposed to having to acquire a separate certificate for each subdomain. If your business maintains a larger website, this is advantageous as it saves a lot of time and money.
- Symbol of trust: Seeing that your website is secure will inspire confidence in many of your visitors, many of whom will only do business with sites that are secure. Utilizing an SSL certificate lets your customers know that their information and its protection are important to your business.
- Improved SEO: Google has been rewarding websites that use SSL with better search engine rankings than their unsecured peers, and it appears now with the release of Chrome 68, they are continuing to do so. The boost isn’t significant, but it’s still an advantage over competitors who don’t have secured websites.
While incorporating SSL certification to your website helps with your security, it is not the only measure that you need to have in place. Contrary to popular belief, an SSL certificate is not a guarantee that your data will not be compromised. You will still need backend security on your databases to ensure that cyber attacks aren’t performed through other means.
How Do You Acquire an SSL Certificate?
There are several ways you can get an SSL certificate for your business.
Start with your website hosting service. Most of them have always offered SSL certificate but now, thanks to projects like Let’s Encrypt, many offer them for free or at a low cost. Depending on the situation, it may be best to obtain a certificate from a paid authority, particularly if you have a sizable site or multiple sites. Do your homework and find out what would be best for your individual situation.
If your website isn’t using an SSL certificate, now is a great time to obtain one. Enjoy all of the benefits outlined above and secure your website today!
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