The word SSL gets thrown around a lot in relation to websites, but not a lot of people know what it is or why it is important. I felt this was a good topic because I go to great websites for great companies and I am always a little shocked to see their site is marked “insecure”. Which is not good for posterity. Anything marked insecure does not make me feel confident they know what they are doing.
So what is an SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.
- SSL requires three layers of protection: encryption, data integrity, and authentication. These layers do the following:
- Encrypt the data exchanged between the user and the website.
- Ensure that data cannot be changed without being detected.
- Prove that users interact with the expected website.
- This helps protect sensitive data such as IDs, passwords, credit card numbers, etc
Why does your website need one?
SSL’s are very important, and if you don’t have one on your site, Google and other search engines will punish you. Punish you? Yeah – I know that sounds brutal, but it is true. Interestingly enough that SSL’s used to only be suggested for eCommerce sites since more sensitive data was being exchanged, but now it does not matter what your site’s function is, you are required to have one. If you don’t you will become unfavorable to search engines and marked insecure, which we talked briefly about before. Not always the best choice for business. Also, this seems like something new for many but it started back in 2014 and has become standard practice as of 2018.
Remember, all sites that do not have a valid SSL are flagged, marked insecure, and at times are even blocked from visitors even being able to see the site.
Why is this happening?
Companies like Google and Firefox was to be the most secure browsing experience for their users.
Why have a Valid SSL?
Google will rank your site better, it helps immensely with SEO. Want to learn more about SEO. Visit Episode 1
- People will take your site and business more seriously.
- People will actually be able to reach your sit without an error message which looks really bad to customers and potential clients.
- Protection from information theft
How much does an SSL Certificates cost?
Contact your web hosting company or your web site support person to check in on that. Some companies charge $70 a year and others are free. It just depends on who you are hosted with.