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SSL is a common topic these days in relation to the internet and web security. But, a lot of people still don’t understand what it is and why it’s important. We implement free SSL certificates with every website we design and develop. So, we figured it would help to give a basic rundown on SSL encryption. This article will illuminate what this cybersecurity tool is, why it’s becoming a standard and what you should do about it.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is synonymous with HTTPS protocol. One of the most common cybersecurity measures, SSL encrypts any data that is transferred between a computer and a website. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate by the green padlock in the address bar and a web address with “https” instead of “http”.

Green Lock representing SSL or HTTPSProtecting Data

One of the most obvious reasons to implement SSL encryption into your website is simply to secure data. For websites that process or collect any personal information, SSL will protect all that data from attackers. Think emails, names, phone numbers, credit card information, logins and so on. In fact, it’s required to have an active SSL certificate if you accept online payments through your website in order to comply with Payment Card Industry standards.

Customer Reassurance

Aside from the pure security benefit, SSL creates a psychological affect for consumers. Whether or not they input personal information, simply knowing the website is secure builds trust and comfort. A recent update in Google Chrome as part of Google’s efforts to standardize web security will notify users if a site is insecure. And of course, you don’t want your visitors questioning whether you value their security.

Standardization

What HTTPS means and how to tell when your site is secureInternet security has become an issue of high awareness and importance in recent years. With cybersecurity breaches seeming to happen left and right, it’s nothing to gloss over. For this reason, organizations such as Google and Let’s Encrypt have been taking action to standardize global web security. Some of the results of this include:

  • Web browsers like Chrome now make it readily apparent whether a website is secure. Look for a green padlock icon in the address bar or direct security notifications.
  • Google made SSL encryption a factor in SEO rankings. Websites that aren’t secure now get docked and their search rankings could hurt as a result.
  • In the past, SSL certificates were expensive and complicated to implement, making them less of a priority. Now, companies like Let’s Encrypt offer FREE SSL certificates that are easy to install in an effort to secure the web.

In conclusion, it’s obvious where the web is moving in regards to SSL. The importance of having a certificate, whether or not you take online payments or transfer much data, has become hard to ignore.

How do I get an SSL certificate?

As mentioned above, the revolutionary website security company Let’s Encrypt offers free, easy-to-install SSL certificates. Plenty of Content Delivery Networks (CDN) now also offer free SSL/TLS encryption, including Cloudflare and Google Cloud CDN. We’ve even encrypted websites for free directly through a hosting provider. Some host companies are catching up with the cybersecurity revolution and now offer SSL as part of hosting packages. We include free SSL certificate setup with every web design project we do.

Get in touch today for more help understanding SSL and how to implement it into your website.

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