What is an SSL Certificate and do I really need one?

What is an SSL Certificate?

A SSL certificate is a small data file that digitally binds a cryptographic key to a company’s details. Typically, SSL is used to protect transactions credit card, data transfer and login details sent across the Internet encrypted and unreadable. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser is secure.

When a certificate is installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPs, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. Depending on the type of certificate you purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet on, the address bar should show a padlock when you visit a website that has an SSL Certificate installed.

SSL certificate installed looks like this:

Do I need a SSL certificate

SSL certificate not installed looks like this:

Do I need SSL?

All financial businesses and online shops have a SSL certificates. Websites that store customer date or any sensitive data should have a SSL certificate.

Should you get a SSL certificate?

Looking at the two pictures above, how does that make you feel?

Until recently, the padlock wasn’t that obvious. And it is a common assumption that all our banking and shopping are done through secure websites. But Google has now made it more obvious with Chrome whether a website is secure or not and will also give you extra points for your SEO for having a SSL certificate. So why miss out?

Another good reason for getting a SSL certificates is that nowadays they are cheaper than what they used to be so there is no excuse. You also have different types of certificate, depending on the level of encryption you need,  so prices vary.

Where do you get a SSL certificate?

The easiest way to get a SSL certificate is by checking your hosting account which may even offer a free one with your subscription. You may also check your domain registrar. A Google search will return with many options if you want to shop around.

If you need more information or want me to organise the installation of your SSL certificate, please contact me.

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