Have you ever thought of how to secure your site with a SSL Certificate but on second thought decided against doing so?
Well you’re not alone and that’s because most people think it isn’t necessary.
But then visit any website and look at the address bar. In most cases you will find out that a little icon sits right before the http portion of the web address. This icon is a green colored padlock . This icon is one way a secure site, safe to navigate is identified.
See green padlock.
But that’s not all. Look at the http portion as well and you find that what use to be simply http, becomes https. See image below
See S in http. The S stands for Secure.
On most websites, you will find a green bar in the web address area being displayed instead. And so with the green padlock and the letter S added to http,
this is an indication that the website in question is secure. All of this thanks to a security certificate known as a SSL Certificate .
So What is a SSL Certificate used for?
The question of what a SSL Certificate is used for and why it is needed on your website or blog might just be one question you have been asking yourself.
To understand what it is and why you need it, take your website for a moment and think of how much pains you have taken or are taking to build it into a thriving
website/blog that attracts a frequency of visitors who do one or all of these two things,
. Subscribe to your offers or newsletters
. Buy products or tutorials using their personal information
In each of the above cases, your site visitors are going to leave sensitive personal information. And so whether they subscribe to your offers or want to stay up-to-date with your newsletter or buy products from you site, they will
a) by subscribing, register a username and password to gain access to your site.
b) if they buy products and tutorials, use their credit card information to do so.
Doing all of this requires a secure enviroment in which your site visitors can operate without having to put their personal information such as email address,password or credit card information, at risk of being stolen.
SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) is the encryption protocol that allows all the sensitive data your site visitors fill in on your site to be transmitted in encrypted form. It does this by creating a secure connection between two points on the internet and that is
your website server and your visitor’s web browser so as to prevent the information being transmitted from being stolen or intercepted during transmission.
But to use this encryption technology requires installing a SSL Certificate on your website or blog. The SSL Certificate is the certificate that guarantees
and ensures that sensitive personal data will travel securely from the send point to the designated destination point encrypted. In simple terms it means
the sensitive information your site visitor sends to your site will get to you and only you encrypted.
Companies and businesses the world over who operate a website, use this certificate on their website and this is because collecting sensitive data
requires some kind of security to keep such sensitive information safe from prying eyes.
But how necessary is a SSL Certificate?
Security in the age of internet is a very essential element especially if you have a website or blog that collects data from site users and visitors alike. While many sites may not install a SSL Certificate,
it’s importance for the security of your site cannot be overlooked. And here is where you have to understand why it is necessary . Here are 4 reasons why installing a SSL Certificate is necessary.
1) To prevent loss of data
As stated before, email addresses,passwords and credit card details,etc., are all sensitive information which during transmission can be intercepted. With an SSL certificate data is protected as it is encrypted.
An SSL Certificate not only provides encryption but also provides authentication. It does this using a PKI(Public Key Infrastructure) and this means that
information sent goes to the intended device on the designated server and does not allow other devices on the same server to access that information.
3) It builds trust
Websites are trusted more when they have a SSL Certificate. And as more and more people use the internet especially for shopping and ecommerce,
the tendency for visitors is to look to those sites that are safe for browsing. This makes most web browsers alert visitors once they enter a site and lets them know if that site is safe for browsing or not.
While surfing the sites may not pose any problem, for the fact that it lacks a SSL Certificate, can make site visitors interested in browsing that site, not to trust it even if they want to buy products from the site.
4) It is good for search engine rankings
Yes,Google, and other search engine favor and rank sites with SSL Cetificates (secure sites) higher than sites without it (unsecured sites). And this means that if your site doesn’t have an SSL Certificate installed,
it may not be ranked high enough by Google or other search engines. Infact as stated in this article, Google notified site owners that,
“Enabling HTTPS on your whole site is important, but if your site collects passwords, payment info, or any other personal information, it’s critical to use HTTPS.”
This was google’s way of telling site owners to update their site from http to https for the benefit of site users whose datas they collect. And it started penalizing sites right from the beginning of January 2017.
Can I do without a SSL Certificate?
Sometimes trying to figure out whether something is useful for the purpose of security is like trying to tell you that since it involves security,you are obliged to get it at all cost even if you don’t want to. But as with all things in life
you have a choice. And choosing to install a SSL Certificate for your site is clearly up to you to decide. So you can choose to do without it or you can get one for your site.
This is because there are many websites out there that don’t install a SSL Certificate or have one that has expired that they have yet to renew.
Infact a SSL security summary monthly scan taken as of 6 December 2017 puts the number of SSL secured sites at about 63.6% .
Now since most sites are not installing a SSL Certificate you might be wondering why they don’t. And the reasons why they may not install it is because in most cases they perhaps do not see the need for it.
If you like them do not see the need to install a SSL Certificate on your site, here are a few points to put in to consideration to help you make a wise decision.
1) If you are going to sell products on your site then you should consider installing it as you will be collecting credit card details and other sensitive information.
2) You should consider installing a SSL Certificate if you are going to have a subscription-based website where people will frequent your site using their login details
such as usernames and password. Understand that the more people subscribe the more your database of users increases.
3) It may not be necessary if you are running a personal blog where you are not collecting personal data of any kind.
4) And of course if you are using WordPress.com then you don’t even have to worry about installing a SSL Certificate on your WordPress.com hosted site as this is all included .
With the ever changing times and with the growth of internet usage, the need for security, is something that is extremely important if you are going to operate a site with the specific intention of collecting website user data such as email address and credit card information.
Site visitors more than ever are not willing to trust sites that cannot guarantee safe browsing and protection of their data. Once you understand this, you can start by thinking of ways to enhance the security of your site.
What do you think? Comment below