Why do some website addresses on the URL bar start with ‘http’, while several others start with ‘https’? When you click a website address link or type an address on the URL space bar, you may have noticed the extra ‘s’ in ‘https’. What makes the difference?
The extra ‘s’ in ‘http’ shows that your connection to the particular website is secure, as well as encrypted.You can share any data to the website, and they are safe. That small ‘s’ you come across is powered by the technology called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate ensures secure connections between web browsers and web servers. Being a digital certificate, it validates the identity of a website and ensures that encrypted information is sent on the Internet using SSL technology. SSL certificates are used by most websites, for they determine their credentials and reduce the risk of customer sensitive information like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, emails and any other confidential information from being stolen by hackers or identity thieves.
An SSL certificate installed on the web serverguarantees the users that they are on a valid website, and all information they transmit are encrypted and protected. Any business that owns a website should go for SSL certificates for key reasons like:
1. It helps protect data
An SSL certificate is predominantly meant to protect sensitive information transmitted between a user and server. On installing, the 256-bit encryption protects any data from being accessed by malicious intruder. The strongest encryption makes it impossible for a hacker to understand even if some data is intercepted or there is a breach of data. The clients who visit your website will find it safe to conduct e-commerce or any transactions.
2. It asserts your identity and avoids phishing
The Internet is said to be deceptive that one may not know which websites are true. There are instances where people have lost money believing the website or information to be true. The department of internal affairs in New Zealand has alerted the users of suspected scams, in which individuals are targeted by offering huge discounts on certain items. Through this, they are prompted to give their credit card details.
By installing an SSL certificate, you have to undergo a validation process set by Certificate Authority (CA), which authenticates your identity. Thus, your business website gets trust indicators asserting your integrity. The clients who see them will know to who they are communicating. With a valid SSL certificate, you can ensure the authenticity of the website and avoid any phishing attacks.
3. It helps improve your search engine ranking
With Google supporting websites with SSL encryption and introducing ‘https’ as a factor for ranking in the search engines, it clearly shows that a valid SSL certificate will help a website to rank higher in search engines.
4. It helps secure payments
The 256-bit encryption mentioned earlier helps protect your customers’ card payment details. One of the 12 requirements designed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is having a valid SSL certificate. Therefore, SSL is a necessity if you want to receive payments from your customers.
5. It shows your customer that you can be trusted
By having an SSL certificate, you can win the trust of your customers. The padlock icon on the left side of your website address on the URL bar confirms that your website is legitimate. Accessing a website without an SSL certificate will give you a warning that the site is unsecured.
If you want your website to be shown safe and secure, you should invest in any of the SSL certificates such as Standard, Premium and WildCard on offer.