What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that establishes encrypted communication between a sender (browser) and a receiver (web server). An SSL certificate, purchased from your web hosting company and installed on your website’s server, enables both the sender and the receiver to privately and securely exchange secret “keys” known only to them. This digital certificate is issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) which is necessary to certify ownership of a public key, thereby ensuring the authenticity of both the SSL certificate and the website.
When a website visitor transmits sensitive information (i.e. credit card information, health information, login credentials, personal identifying information, etc.) without an SSL certificate, the connection could be exposed to eavesdropping, phishing, keyloggers or other nefarious hackers. Click here for the top 10 hacking techniques.
Do I Need an SSL Certificate?
Because of the threat of website security breaches and identity theft SSL certificates are a must have. This is especially important for eCommerce sites or sites that collect personal and/or sensitive information (think credit cards, banking, login credentials). In fact, if you don’t have an SSL certificate Google Chrome will show a red lock in front of your URL, indicating your site is NOT secure. Many, if not most, people will not do business with a company whose website is not secure.
An SSL certificate engenders trust and indicates security so that your customers feel safe sharing sensitive information, helps ensure compliance to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, provides access to HTTP/2 – a faster protocol to send data – and enables higher Google search rankings. In fact, Google is stressing the need for SSL certificate. To learn why, click here.