Is Your Site Secure?

The simple fact of the matter is that any website which gains a reputation for being unreliable or insecure in any way, may experience a drastic drop in traffic.

I don’t need to tell you this but, that is bad for business.

In addition to that, a website which proves that it takes security seriously will invariably attract more visitors.

In this day and age, few internet users are willing to take any unnecessary risks, especially when it comes to making online purchases through an eCommerce website or sharing personal information.

In the early days of the internet, many users were unaware of what to look out for when visiting a website.

Today, more and more people are able to recognise the on-screen presence of a padlock icon, or the website’s URL beginning with “https://” as a clear sign that they are able to trust them.
That right there, is “secure sockets layer” in action.

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Why Online Security & Reputation is Paramount

As a website owner, you will have likely heard the term “SSL certificate” (secure sockets layer) being used before.

Of course, in the beginning, if you’re new to the world of websites then that kind of technical jargon can be off-putting.

It’s no wonder why so many people switch off and end up making elementary mistakes that can come back to haunt them.

That said, if you genuinely care about your customers and want them to be able to enter their private information into your website with confidence, then an SSL certificate is first port of call when it comes to cyber-security.

Google state that SSL & HTTPS should be used everywhere across the web at all times, and it’s best to listen to them.

Not only will websites without an SSL be marked as “unsecure”, but it can affect your organic rankings.

But it’s not just about trust and position; SSL certificates have more to offer you than that, which we will get to.

First, however, let’s explore the importance of online security & reputation on the internet.

What is an SSL Certificate and How Does it Work?

Again, SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”, which implies safety and protection.

This technology is ultimately used to secure an internet connection and the data that is being passed between the browser and the web server itself.

The SSL protects sensitive information such as credit card details, passwords, and any other personal information that should remain as such.

If that kind of information is left unencrypted, then it allows hackers to have a field day in gathering easy information to exploit.

An SSL certificate basically encrypts the data and makes it impossible to read by anyone who may attempt to steal it.

The only party that will be able to successfully decipher the information will be the intended recipients (the trusted party) at the other end of the SSL connection.

What is known as an “SSL Handshake” occurs as soon as the browser validates the presence of an SSL certificate

      • The server is then able to transfer all of the necessary data
        (including the SSL certificate type and the level of encryption being used)
      • Once confirmed that the SSL certificate is indeed valid, the secure connection can begin
        (don’t worry, this entire interaction occurs exceptionally quickly).

What SSL Certificate Types are Available?

As mentioned above, there are various SSL certificate types. These are as follows:

1 – Domain Validation Certificates
This is the basic “entry level” SSL which is provided some hosting packages. This simply verifies that you are the owner of the domain and is best suited to simple websites.

2 – Organisation Validation Certificates
An OVC proves that you are the owner of the domain and that your business or organisation is attached to the website and responsible / accountable for its security.

This level of certificate is only available to those that can prove that they are a business and allows safer browsing for potential shoppers.

3 – Extended Validation Certificates
The extended validation certificate is the “crème de la crème” of SSL certificates. You will need to validate your business, domain name ownership, and a number of other verification steps.

The process tends to take longer, however, for those of you who truly value your customer’s privacy and security, it’s a great way of letting them know that you stand out from the crowd.

Typically, when visiting a website with an EVC, you’ll notice the URL bar will be entirely green, which is the ultimate indication that the website you are visiting is entirely secure.

Do You Need an SSL Certificate for Your Website?

The short answer is yes, as the basic SSL is simple enough to acquire and offers advantages that are simply too good to ignore over a little bit of effort.

If you tick any of these three boxes, then having an SSL is an absolute must:

      • Visitors make online purchases
      • Your website has membership features
      • You are collecting user data

Running a website that includes any and all of the above features without an SSL is in poor form indeed.

Of course, if you’ve made it this far without an SSL because you weren’t aware, don’t panic! It’s an easy enough situation to resolve.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and a little out of your depth with any of this, then please feel free to contact Content’s Me  today.

We will gladly offer our assistance in any way that we can.