What Is SSL & Why Do I Need It?

Wondering why some websites have “http” while others have “https”?

The letter “s” actually makes a huge difference in a website. It stands for “secure”, an indication that a site is protected and encrypted.

So how can I switch from http to https? You will need an SSL certificate to do this.

To put it simply, SSL or secure sockets layer certificates basically tell your site visitors that they can safely browse products or services on your site, purchase and share their information with you. In the same way, an SSL certificate also protects your site from the many digital nuances you are bound to encounter.

But my website is small to be targeted, why bother?

In the world of cyber crime, no website is completely safe from hacks. No matter how small or big you are, once that creepy cyber creature finds a vulnerable spot, it will start attacking your site. They will begin taking personal information from your site, misuse this information for their gains, spread malicious content or shut down your network.

We strongly recommend for any kind of website to have an SSL certificate. But for certain sites, this is a non-negotiable requirement. Here are a few things that will help you determine whether you need an SSL certificate or not.

  1.    Is your site accepting payments?

If you are taking payments via credit card directly from your website, then you definitely should have an SSL certificate, as this will encrypt your customers’ credit card information. You really wouldn’t want their details to be stolen and misused. You may decide to encrypt the checkout pages only and not the entire site. If you are redirecting payments to PayPal, you may not need SSL.

  1.    Are your visitors submitting information via forms?

Even if you are not selling products but are collecting customer information via lead magnets or subscription forms, questionnaires, documents with sensitive information or photos, then you should have an SSL certificate. There is a huge chance cyber thieves can extract an email a physical address from your site and use them to their advantage.

  1.    Do you require passwords for logins?

Websites that use multiple logins provide opportunities for hackers to access your site and begin their dirty work, especially those with poor passwords. If this is the case, then you would need to have your site encrypted.

More reasons to have SSL

Another major reason you should consider SSL is that Google ranks websites using SSL a little higher in search results. This is to encourage website owners to make the web a safe place to navigate in. But more than the SEO value, a secured site helps promote trust, maintain a good online reputation and build a better image for your company. Small effort, big benefits. Right?

If you’re thinking of implementing SSL for your website, we’re happy to give you a hand.