If your business has a website, you need an SSL certificate.
If you look in the top left corner of your web browser, you should see a padlock symbol next to this web page’s URL. That’s an SSL certificate! If your website doesn’t have one, it could be putting your customers at risk and hurting your ranking on Google’s search engine results page.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) enables the secure transmission of sensitive data such as credit card details and passwords. Without an SSL certificate, data exchanged between browsers and web servers is transferred in plain text, which leaves you open to eavesdropping. If an attacker can intercept that information while it is in transit, they can potentially steal it and use it for fraud, extortion or identity theft.
When you are browsing the internet, you’ve probably noticed that almost every website has a padlock symbol next to the URL and that, these days, most URLs start with HTTPS rather than just HTTP. Both of these are indicators that the website is protected by SSL encryption.
With SSL encryption in place, anyone monitoring the connection between your browser and the web server would be able to see the website you had visited, but not what you had done on that website, nor any information you had entered into the site (such as payment details or information entered into a contact form).
SSL encryption can also be used to protect email communications while in transit. As the email contents is encrypted, anyone other than the intended recipient who was able intercept the email would be unable to read it, seeing only a random assortment of number, letters, and symbols instead of the email’s true contents
Does My Business Website Need An SSL Certificate?
Yes. Not only does implementing SSL encryption on your website protect your customers, but it also effects your ranking on search engines. Since 2018, Google (and other search engines) have been actively penalising the search rankings of websites without valid SSL certificates.
On top of this, browsers like Google Chrome will warn users when they are about to access an insecure site with a warning like this, which is enough to scare off plenty of potential customers.