SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are absolutely essential on websites that exchange personal and financial data. The extra layer of protection provided by this encryption makes it more difficult for your information to be intercepted.
What is an SSL Certificate ?
At the most basic level, SSL Certificates are small data files that utilise cryptographic keys and bind them to your business’ data. In short, they encode communication that only the sender and receiver can understand.
What does this mean for Business ?
For your business, this is important not just because Search Engine providers such as Google strongly encourage you to conform to “https” by supposedly “penalising” sites that aren’t secure, but we also owe it to our clients and business partners that we will keep their and our data safe. It also acts as a selling point for your business.
How do I recognise a website that isn’t secure ?
Simply, check out the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address area in your browser and check if the initial part is “http://example.com” or “https://example.com”. The former has no SSL certificate but the latter does. In some we browsers (such as Google Chrome), you may also see a little green or black padlock item. This also indicates it’s a secure website.
What if the site isn’t secure ?
This isn’t the end of the world in spite of what the scaremongers say. If you’re a visitor to one of these sites, you can still visit them but do not type in any personal or financial details. You can still navigate them and click everywhere as you’ve always done. It’s only if data is transferred that the risk of data leakage occurs.
It if is your site that isn’t secure, don’t panic unless you are an eCommerce site and/or take customers’ details. If you are, I’d be contacting my hosting service provider or website consultant as soon as possible. If you aren’t, I still would be making it somewhat of a priority if for no other reason that your clients are becoming more educated and not having a secure site may ring some alarm bells. Besides, at least according to Google, your site may not rank as well without an SSL certificate.
What can I do to fix my Insecure Site ?
The best thing to do is to get in contact with your hosting provider or website consultant to arrange to get this done. There are some tricky steps to do in a particular order plus some cleaning up and redirection to be done through the process so unless you’re a bit of a guru, I’d be leaving this to someone who knows.
Do I have to Start Again With My Website ?
Definitely not. Of course, starting a web design with an SSL secured site is idea but you don’t need to throw out years of linking and Google ranking to get your site secured. As mentioned above, there is a process to follow and depending on the size of the website, this work can be done as part of a website renovation or website enhancement. It could even be done as part of a business improvement process but that’s another article in itself.
eBusiness Website Solutions provide secure websites with all new Website Designs and recommend upgrading to SSL with any website renovations or enhancements. Email us via our Contact Us page or ring 0427 148 453 for more information.