Information is sent from one computer to another, one server to another… it’s a little intangible, right? The internet feels that way, too. But the good news is, SSLs can help.
When you fill out forms or visits a website, you’re exchanging information from your computer and server, with another. Adding an SSL certificate is one way that the internet is made a bit safer with our information. Think of the online information you might share – your first and last name, email address, phone number, mailing address, even your password or credit card information – you want to know that it is in good hands and isn’t available to just anyone. When there is an SSL certificate, your information is secured in a way that makes it unreadable to anyone outside who it’s intended for.
According to ClickSSL, the main benefits of having an SSL certificate include:
- Safeguarding sensitive data being transferred between browser and server
- Preventing criminals or any intruder from reading the information transferred
- Avoiding misuse of vital information like credit card numbers, financial information, addresses and names
- Safeguarding the information transferred from unwanted modification.
Is it OK to have a Website Without an SSL?
You’re not breaking any laws if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Well, that’s half true. If you take credit card payments or information over your website, then it is required by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards to have an SSL.
An SSL provides a layer of authentication and trust to your visitors. Many internet browsers will warn users when a site they’re visiting does not have proper security functionality. And it matters; research found that up to 85% of internet users will leave a website and discontinue browsing if they see the site is not secure.
Aside from the added layer of trust, not having an SSL can also impact where you show up in Google’s search ranking. According to Google Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji, a site with an SSL will outperform one without. Google publicly shared that between two otherwise equal websites, the one with an enabled SSL certificate will have a slightly boosted rank and will outperform the one without the SSL.
How Much does an SSL Certificate Cost?
An SSL Certificate typically ranges between $50 and $200. Most certificates are good for one to two years after they’re purchased and installed, but there are longer term options and advanced certificates, depending on what you’re looking for.
Although there are some certificates that are less expensive, making sure you have the type of SSL certificate you need for the information you gather and functionality of your website is key. If you’re not sure what type of SSL certificate you have or should have, ask your website partner or IT staff.
Does an SSL Cover All Website Security Issues?
SSL’s are an important part of web security, but not a catch-all. Just because your site has an SSL does not mean it is 100% secure! SSL’s only secure information that is in transit. Once your SSL certificate is installed on your site, you will likely need to invest a bit more time and resources into keeping your website safe and secure through routine updates, security checks, and more.
If you have questions about the security or technical aspects of your website, we’re happy to help. Contact us and we’ll make sure you’re passing SSL certificate tests with flying colors.