According to recent research, there are currently around 3.77 billion internet users in the world – that’s 50% of the entire population of our planet – and rising! With so many ways to connect, and online interactions increasing exponentially, what keeps the personal data we share over the internet secure and private?
The answer is SSL digital certification. It’s been a critical prerequisite for Ecommerce websites for a long time, primarily to protect the credit card details of online shoppers, but SSL is fast becoming a standard safeguard requirement for all websites. So much so in fact that in the very near future, any website owner not having an SSL certificate will find their business is seriously disadvantaged.
SSL is shorthand for Secure Sockets Layer, the standard security technology used to establish an encrypted link between a customer’s web browser and the website of any business they visit.
In very simple terms, SSL instantly encrypts any plain text information a customer shares with a business when they type personal information into a website.
Even if your business model doesn’t require customers to give you their credit card details over the internet, they’ll almost certainly be sharing other sensitive information with your organisation – when they use a password to login to a secure area for example, or fill in any kind of online form.
Whatever kind of business you run, you need an SSL certificate for two key reasons:
When your customers connect with you over the internet, they want to be certain they’re dealing with a reputable organisation, that any information they share will be completely secure, and that they’re not putting their system at risk from any kind of virus or malware.
An SSL certificate authenticates your website, giving your customers a visual indication that it’s secured and can be used with confidence. It does this by displaying a green closed padlock icon in the address bar when the website is viewed in a browser.
Your customers have a right to expect you to take all reasonable steps to safeguard their personal data, and the rules governing this area are about to get a lot stricter with the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018. Obtaining an SSL certificate will be an essential step to GDPR compliance.
And if you need any further persuading that SSL certification is essential, it’s widely anticipated that Google will soon put a warning indicator against insecure websites when they show up in an internet search.
Google is on a mission to make the internet a safer, more secure environment for all of us, and safe browsing is a key feature of Google Chrome. The browser already warns users when they’re about to visit an insecure website, and it seems reasonable to conclude that the natural next step will be for this to be extended to the initial search results stage, with websites not meeting Google’s security criteria highlighted in some way.
As mentioned already, Google want to make the internet as safe as it can be, and as the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, they have the clout to make things happen.
On its own, SSL certification won’t guarantee you first page ranking, but it will give your site a boost, and if you take no action, Google will gradually relegate your site.
As you can see, SSL certification is vital to ensure your website is found by visitors and that they have the confidence to engage with you online. The good news is that it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to fix – depending on how your website is hosted, certificates can be free, and for anyone with a good level of technical expertise, installation is generally straightforward.
If you don’t have the time or the technical knowledge required, we can take care of all aspects of SSL certification for you. To find out more, get in touch now by sending us a message or calling us on 0118 380 0131 and let’s have a chat!