With the rise in the number of cyberattacks every year, the security of the website has become a major concern. In the past decade or so, many search engines have stressed the importance of using HTTPS protocol for the website as it is a more secure up-gradation over the traditional HTTP protocol. HTTPS ensures transmission of data to the browser in an encrypted form, making it a tough nut to crack for cyber attackers. Google has started labelling a website as un-secure if it has not yet adopted the latest SSL certificate. This would create distrust among the visitors and can drive away from the potential customers from your website.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a digitally signed certificate issued for a website that follows a cryptographic protocol in which valuable information or data of the website is communicated over a secured network. Although SSL certificates have been around for more than 20 years now, still many organizations were lax in adopting it quickly. However, in recent years, it has gained much traction as it has become more of a compulsion rather than a luxury. Also, it has become much easier to install an SSL certificate for your website as there many free and paid SSL providers available in the market. If you are on a Shared Linux Hosting plan, the chances are that your plan comes in-built with free SSL certificates installed for cPanel.
Advantages of installing SSL certificates
- Protection of consumer data: If your business has to stay relevant, it needs to treat the user’s valuable information as precious as a diamond. This is especially true if you are running an e-commerce website and storing valuable information such as credit card details. SSL certificate does exactly that. It communicates the data between the server and the browser in an unreadable form making it less prone from being hacked. If the website has been breached even for once, it can damage your business reputation and can drive away future customers from visiting your website.
- Boost your website’s SEO: In the backend of a website, there is a lot of hard work involved. However, all the hard work can go into the drain if your website is not visible to the targeted customer. In 2004, Google included an https requirement as one of the factors to rank website in its search engine algorithm. With SSL installed on your website, your website’s chance of ranking on top of the search engine ladder increases.
- Secure labelling website and revenue generation: SSL certificate ensures your website has a trust indicator as a padlock. This gives assurance to the visitor about the authenticity and security protocol of the website, which enables them to conduct transactions without any fear. This would consequently generate more revenue from your website.
- Abiding regulatory compliances: The Payments Card Industry (PCI) has postulated many guidelines which a website must abide especially for a website which involves monetary transactions such as an e-commerce website. The PCI standards make it compulsory to have at least a 128-bit SSL certificate and to get the digitally signed certificate from a trusted source. These are some of the many guidelines which are given by the PCI if the website involves accepting card payments. Installing an SSL certificate from a known and trusted provider can give you the mental peace so you can spend your time on other aspects of your business.
If you are using or planning to use a Linux Shared Hosting plan for your website, it is important to talk to your provider about the SSL certificate. Many hosting providers give Let’s Encrypt-Free SSL certificate with the plan. However, there are various types of SSL certificates available in the market which provides variable authentication and security for your website. Common ones include EV SSL, OV SSL, DV SSL, Wildcard SSL and Multi-domain SSL certificates. Getting an SSL has become a compulsion nowadays, so it’s better to adopt the updated technology quicker to get rid of the ‘un-secure’ tag.