Tags: How do I make my website secure? Website security. SSL. Secure Sockets Layer.
What are SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates?
An SSL certificate is a digital security certificate that validates the identity of a website and hides the information sent between the website and the server that the website is hosted on through encryption.
Encryption means that the data is reorganised or scrambled into a form that is unrecognisable or undecipherable to prying eyes and can only be unencrypted with the proper security key.
This means that all data that is exchanged through the website, such as messages that are sent through an online contact form or login credentials, is scrambled until it reaches its destination then is deciphered or unscramble by the websites security key, if the key does not match the data remain scrambled.
When a website user sends private information to the server, the browser that the user is using accesses the security certificate and creates a secure connection.
Why are SSL certificates required?
SSL certificates are needed for a number of reasons. They are listed below:
SSL protects your website data
SSL certificates encrypt data being sent from the website to the server, this ensures that hackers and people who aren’t supposed to see the information, cannot.
Information such as credit card numbers and information, personal details such as emails and addresses, and general private information used for purchasing products or services are encrypted. Even if your website does not relay any sensitive information, which is rare, you should still install an SSL certificate, the reasons can be found below.
SSL confirms your identity
What this means is that your website is sending the information to the proper destination and not to a hacker or someone trying to intercept your data.
SSL certificates create an encrypted link between your website and the server, once the encrypted information reaches its destination, the destination un-encrypts the data using the SSL certificates key installed on the server, if the certificate’s key does not match the key sent from the website, the data remains scrambled.
This means that if the data is intercepted by a hacker who does not have the SSL key, he cannot see the data because it is scrambled.
SSL secures online stores
SSL certificate creates secure online stores, this ensures all your online transactions for your products and services is conducted securely and this creates trust between the business and the consumer.
SSL also adheres to PCI/DSS Requirements. PCI requirements state that any online transaction must be served over a secure connection. What this means is that your online store will not function properly without one.
SSL certificates and Google rankings.
As from early last year(2018), Google introduced a policy that all websites are to have SSL security certificates installed, otherwise your website would be served over an “Insecure connection” error page in all major browsers such as the ones seen in the images below. This can be a deterrent to visitors visiting your website.
Example of a non-secure website(above)
Example of a secure website(above)
Example of a non-secure error page(above)
Also, if your website is secure, Google will list your website higher in rankings than non-secure websites. This could be one of the reasons your website is not seeing much user traffic if your website is not secure.
Where can I buy one?
SSL certificates can be purchased from any web hosting platform or SSL provider. Custom Web Creations also provides secure quality SSL certificates and can install them for a very reasonable price. Contact us for more information.
How do I install one?
Installing an SSL certificate requires some server or hosting knowledge. One of the most popular hosting platforms, Cpanel, allows you to install the certificate from an administration panel. Installing self-signed certificates and non-authenticated certificates will cause your website to show the “not secure” warning to users. Watch the video below for instructions.
SSL certificates are essential in maintaining the security and identity of your website. They help to secure your website from attackers, create safe environments for your viewers, increase trust between business and their customers and viewers, and increase your Google rankings so your website shows up more in search results, resulting in increased revenue for the business.
For more information on SSL certificates go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security.
Timothy Allsworth is a specialist web designer, content marketer, and search engine optimization expert here at Custom Web Creations Web Design Brisbane. He has over 5 years of real-world experience in the field and loves helping people and their businesses to succeed in an online world through his tried and proven techniques.