what you need to know about SSL and your website.

July 24, 2018

Online security is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.

This month, Google released an update impacting website security for every business on the Internet. As a result, sites without a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate will now be flagged with a ‘Not Secure’ warning in the Google Chrome address bar.

Here’s how it affects you and your business.

What is SSL?

SSL and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), are standard security protocols for establishing encrypted links between web browsers and servers. Essentially, SSL certificates make sure your data is safe and protected as it’s transferred from point A to point B. Even more importantly, SSL certificates ensure that only the intended recipient can understand the information.

SSL is the backbone of a secure Internet. It protects data, affirms your identity and builds trust. Consider it your electronic passport.

Having SSL on your website means that individual users, Internet service providers and government officials will have a tougher time seeing what information you’re viewing, downloading or sharing. This includes anything from personal information in a contact form, to credit card data, to usernames and passwords.

If you visit a website that has been flagged, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your data is being compromised. But if your address bar displays “Not Secure” for your website visitors, it can certainly cause immediate concern for your business and your customers—especially with over 50% of Internet browsers using Google Chrome. This is what the experience will look like in a user’s browser:

Google has been encouraging websites to transition over to HTTPS for the past year. As of this month, 71 of the top 100 sites are now secure. With browsers now prominently calling out site security, companies risk losing customers if they don’t make the necessary changes.

If you have yet to migrate to HTTPS, here’s what you’re missing out on.

The Benefits of SSL Certificates

Personal confidentiality. Because an SSL certificate makes the information unreadable to everyone except the server receiving the information, this prevents hackers and identity thieves from gaining access to any transferred information and personal details.

Secure shopping. In order to accept credit card payments, your website must pass certain audits verifying that you comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. One of those key requirements is the use of an SSL certificate. In fact, as many as 60% of shoppers decide not to purchase if the checkout process is missing a trust seal.

Search ranking. Securing your site can also help boost search rankings. Google announced that a strong HTTPS encryption by default for a website is now a factor within its search algorithm.

Customer trust. Web browsers are able to give visual signals—such as a lock icon or green bar—indicating to site visitors that their connection is completely secure. This is beneficial for businesses because when your website is secure, you can build trust. And when you can build trust, your customers are more likely to buy from you.

How Secure is your website?

An SSL certificate is a clear indicator of a secure website, safe transaction and trusted business. Is your website as up-to-date and secure as it can be? Are you ready to make the migration to HTTPS? At clevermethod, we’re well-versed in the setup and implementation of website security. Give us a call at 716-805-1065 or contact us today to learn how we can give you and your customers strong data privacy and peace of mind.

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