Take your eyes off of the words on this page and inch them up towards the address bar. What you’ll find (other than the URL) is a sequence of letters reading “https”. That “s” signifies that this website has a Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This means that your connection is secure and that any personal information you’ve entrusted here is exceptionally safe. It doesn’t matter if your site is the official page for the CIA, a medium sized e-commerce store, or a brand new lifestyle blog; your website needs an SSL certificate. Here are just a few practical reasons why.
1.) SSL Certificates Protect User Information From Hackers
A user is immediately at a higher risk of having their information stolen when they reach a website without an SSL certificate. If a user’s ISP is known, hackers can discreetly intercept information the user communicates to the unsecured site. If a user connects to malicious equipment (this can be as simple as connecting to unfamiliar public Wi-Fi) a hacker can redirect users to duplicate sites of the ones they’re trying to reach. The hacker can then harvest the information the user puts into the phony page. SSL certificates protect against both of these methods. An SSL certification achieves this level of security through a “digital handshake” between devices and websites, which we’ve written about before. An SSL certificate establishes confidence in your users that you take privacy seriously; you take them seriously. By instilling this confidence you give users no reason to hesitate using your site.
2.) Google Will Like Your Site More
Google has been pushing for HTTPS sites to become the norm for almost five years. Google is starting to realize this goal by making changes to how they label websites. Google previously marked the URLs of websites with SSL Certificates with both a green padlock and a “Secure Connection” message. Google has already done away with the “secure connection” label and the padlock will disappear, too. In October 2018 Google began to exclusively label non-secure http websites. The label for these sites is a red triangle in the address bar preceding a “Not Secure” warning. “Red triangle” sites act as red flags for sites that aren’t secure at best and are dangerous at their worst. Google has begun shifting the expectations of its users by exclusively alerting consumers to websites that aren’t secure. Users will begin to expect that every website they’re on is safe and their privacy will be secure. They’ll begin expecting to see nothing in the address bar other than the URL. By having an SSL Certificate, you’ll be keeping up with your user’s expectations of what the web should look like: safe.
3.) SSL Boosts SEO
We’ve already discussed how Google will begin to label your site non-preferably if it doesn’t have an SSL Certificate. Furthermore, it should be stated that search engines do naturally favor sites that are both secure and fast. This is because search engines want to direct users towards easily accessible sites that are legitimate answers for their inquiries. There is a myth about sites sacrificing performance in the name of the extra security SSL certificates provide. The truth is that HTTPS loads pages an average of 80% faster than its insecure counterpart. You can even see so for yourself here. Google has even publically stated they will give https sites a minor bump in their ranking to help direct users towards these authentic sites. If you search for “Web Design Raleigh” the first page and a half of entries on both Google and Bing are https websites. Any respected SEO expert will tell you that it’s critical for your site to show up within the first two pages of a search, as few users will look beyond that point. This is not to mention that an SSL certificate is a relatively inexpensive asset that usually pays for itself after the first secure purchase is made off of your site. With all of this in mind, it would seem that having an SSL certificate proves to be one of the easiest ways to help achieve those coveted first few spots.
Everybody needs enhanced security measures, regardless of what kind of page you run. Your page can have a much farther reach than you anticipate and, as a site owner, you hold the responsibility to guarantee a certain level of safety for all who reach your page. The easiest way to achieve this is through encryption. Encryption and its tools, like SSL Certificates, are a vital part of the web and they’re only going to become more integral to the future of cybersecurity. In the face of all that they have to offer, the time has never been better for you to get an SSL Certificate.
Do you need an SSL certificate securing your website? Contact Seven Ages Design to get started installing an SSL certificate on your website today!