Perks of having an SSL certificate for your Website
The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates have been in use for more than two decades. For most of that time, less than half of the world’s websites were secured by these certificates. Majority of them were those sites where sensitive financial transactions took place and user information was stored, esp. the e-commerce websites.
But, in recent months, web browser providers like Google have made it compulsory for every website to acquire this digitally signed file of a cryptographic protocol. This SSL certificate must be that much advantageous for such a mandatory move. Following are the merits of the same:
All the information on the website like account details, passwords, sensitive financial info, text, and media, etc. is protected by an SSL certificate. Its main function is to encrypt the connection from the host website to the end visitor. A chain of computers which come in between these two end computers for the requested data transfer won’t be able to open it without the key. Thus, no hackers or identity thieves can eavesdrop, steal or tamper with any information.
Google Search Ranking Boost
Google announced that from August 2014, in line with their HTTPS everywhere initiative, websites that have installed an SSL certificate will be given priority over those that have not. This has been confirmed by various studies on this subject. Thus, no website should ignore this SEO benefit.
Noticeable security signal
Even people have become security conscious nowadays. A website with an SSL certificate will instill trust in the site visitors. This is done via the browser’s address bar. After getting an SSL certificate, the address bar of the website will change from http:// to https://, plus a lock sign will be added before it, and the whole setup will turn green in color. Clicking on the lock will display the certificate details.
Increasing website conversions
Websites which have an SSL certificate get more visitors, repeat visitors, sales and engagement. This is natural, as people know that shopping and account credentials will be safe with such websites. The SSL certificate affirms the identity of the business to the visitors.
Defense against Phishing
Phishing websites are those that clone real ones and trick the site visitors in believing that they are real. Such websites then lure people into giving their sensitive user and financial information. But they won’t be able to obtain or make/clone any authentic SSL certificate, and thus people will avoid visiting such malicious websites. So to distinguish your website from a phishing one, an SSL certificate is a must have.
There can be fake SSL certificates too! But the CA (Certificate Authority) issues only trusted certificates to the website owners who have passed their verification procedure. The end user browser gets a server certificate along with the SSL certificate which analyzes it and verifies the authenticity.
The CA has three different validation types for SSL certificates. One is the ‘Domain Validation’ which is the least verified and most affordable. Second is the ‘Organization Validation’ which contains the name and address of the organization by default and proves that they are real. The last one is the ‘Extended Validation’; it has the highest level of trust and gives a bigger green bar which includes the organization name and details.
If the website is going to accept online payments, then an SSL certificate is a must. It is one of the 12 requirements set by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). Only a PCI compliant website is permitted to do online financial transactions.
Flagging unsecured websites
In the last year or so, Google and other search engines like Yahoo have made SSL certificates mandatory for all websites. Those that fail to do so, will be flagged. Which means before these unsecure websites are loaded in the user browser, a warning message will be displayed, discouraging people from visiting it or to do it at their own risk.
This can have serious consequences for any business because the website traffic will reduce to a considerable extent; customers will diminish and sales will dwindle. There will be some serious damage to the reputation and image of the business.
Safety for all sub-domains
If you own a website with many sub-domains in it, there is no need to get an SSL certificate for each one. One big common SSL certificate is available, called as the ‘Wildcard’ which secures all the sub-domains of the website. It is extremely useful for those who own many websites having multiple sub-domains in them.