One of the most critical aspects of a website is how secure it is. Customers want to be assured that their data is safe and encrypted so that cyber criminals cannot get a peek at sensitive information. If you want visitors to your site to trust you with their information, the responsibility is on you, the site owner, to provide protection. While there are many ways you or your web design company can go about creating a secure environment for users to interact with, one of the simplest and most important is making sure a website has an SSL certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL, which stand for Secure Sockets Layer, is a digital protocol that secures and encrypts data passing between a web browser (the users) and a web server (your website) that has an SSL certificate. This means any data in transit is defended against being intercepted by potential hackers looking to capture sensitive details. This is denoted by https:// at the beginning of the web address and a green padlock to the left of the address bar. For example, you can see it on our site now.
Does My Website Need an SSL Certificate?
The answer to this question is twofold:
- First, if you are asking visitors to your site to send you information such as the personal data of someone filling out a form or making a purchase, then the answer is yes. Without an SSL certificate, your site may be flagged as not secure by a web browser. Many people will turn away from a site if they are warned it is not protected.
- Second, having a website that is guarded by SSL can also boost your Google search rankings. So there are benefits to an SSL certificate even if you are not asking users to pass along important information.
In other words, no matter what your website will be used for, an SSL certificate is an essential security measure that every site should have.
Is Getting an SSL Certificate Expensive or Time Consuming?
It’s a common misconception that acquiring an SSL certificate is a costly and tedious process. We use WP Engine which uses Let’s Encrypt, a global Certificate Authority that manages and processes SSL certificates. Let’s Encrypt is free, though it needs to be renewed every 90 days, which is done automatically through WP Engine. At JSMT Media, we also create websites that allow for easy SSL certification and WP Engine makes generation and renewal of a certificate quick and painless.
Is an SSL Certificate a Foolproof Security Solution?
An SSL certificate is like a secure pipeline running between a web browser and a web server. In transit the data is safe, but if there is a breach in security at either end of the pipe, the data can still be stolen. It is crucial to make sure your website is secure and up to date, with site backups and all important data encrypted.
Need More Information on Obtaining an SSL Certificate?
Website security is a vital part of any online business and making your data transfers secure with an SSL certificate is vital. Contact JSMT Media today to find out how to get your website certified.