Google have been encouraging and promoting the use of an SSL certificate on websites for years, in order to help make the internet a safer place for its users and website owners.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are used to protect and encrypt information communicated between the web browser and the server. This is most commonly useful in cases where the user is submitting or processing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details, but can also protect other form details such as email addresses and phone numbers.
What Happens if I Don’t Have an SSL Certificate?
When a website isn’t secured with an SSL certificate, information is vulnerable to interception by third parties and software that might want to collect and use that data for malicious purposes. For example, when a user completes a form and clicks “Submit”, the form data is sent from the web browser to the web server – this is where it can be eavesdropped and picked up by those who may be listening in.
A secure SSL connection will encrypt and protect this data against listeners.
Why Should I Have an SSL Certificate?
There are a number of reasons that you should be securing your website with SSL. Here are some of the most important.
Protect User Information
The protection and safety of your website users should always be your number one priority. Without an SSL certificate installed you are leaving them (and their sensitive data) vulnerable to interception by malicious third parties who may be listening in.
Protect Your Information
As a website owner, you may have your own access credentials (or other sensitive data) that you use on a regular basis with your website. An SSL certificate will protect you against potential threats to your online security.
Improved Page Ranking
Since 2014, Google’s search engine has started to favour websites that are utilising an SSL certificate, improving their page ranking in the process. Those websites that do not have and SSL certificate installed will risk reduced performance in their page rank.
Avoid Browser Warnings
Google’s popular Chrome browser is currently testing and rolling out version 62, which will introduce a popup warning to all users browsing to a website (or attempting to use a submit form on a website) that does not have an SSL certificate installed. This means that a potentially huge audience will be immediately warned against continuing to your website, which can in turn affect your traffic, enquiries and conversions.
How Do I Get Secured With SSL?
If you’re interested in protecting your website with an SSL certificate, we’d recommend first contacting your website hosting provider, and seeing what options they have available. A basic certificate is relatively cheap, and some will even offer a free trial. Your hosting provider should be able to take care of certificate acquisition and installation, but if you need some further help or advice you can contact us.
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