How important is it to have HTTPS or SSL installed on your website? It’s a vital part of your online security, so there’s no question that it’s essential. But why? And what does this have to do with HTTP? Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about HTTPS and why you should care about getting an SSL installed ASAP.
It’s important to have an SSL installed on your website if you are collecting sensitive data from customers or customers are entering sensitive information into your website. An SSL certificate can provide customers with a sense of trust that their information is being collected, stored, and sent over encrypted channels.
SSL certificates are also important if you have an e-commerce site, as they allow customers to pay for products online through systems like PayPal. If you don’t know what an SSL certificate or HTTPS is, it’s probably best to get one anyway; it doesn’t cost much (depending on how long you want it) and it will boost customer confidence in your business.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate or need to update your existing one, there are several places that offer them at affordable prices. Most web hosting providers give you a free SSL certificate when you pay for hosting, so you might want to start with your current provider if possible. If they don’t, most other providers will provide them. It’s important to do some research before picking a company as not all SSL certificates are created equal.
As you may know, HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP is just another way of describing how web pages are transferred to your computer. When you visit a website over HTTP, it means that your browser is able to receive files from that website by making an unsecured connection to it. Not only does HTTP leave you vulnerable to hackers, but it’s also not as fast as HTTPS because information has to be encoded in order for it to be transmitted through standard HTTP.
Having an SSL installed on your website can benefit your business in several ways. By ensuring that customers know they’re connected to a secure site, you can make them feel more at ease with making purchases, which can lead to more conversions. For e-commerce sites, increasing conversion rates has huge implications for revenue.
Not only that, but not having an SSL Certificate installed may result in fewer conversions than competitors with an SSL Certificate installed because customers will be less likely to trust your website.
A good way to determine if you need an SSL or not for your site is to look at how much information you are collecting from users. If you are storing sensitive information on your website, such as credit card numbers, then you will need an SSL installed on your site. Anytime that user data (or anything else that can be considered sensitive) is transferred over HTTP, there's a high risk of eavesdropping by attackers who could steal that data.
This does not mean that any business needs an SSL; it just means they should use one if they handle sensitive data. There are exceptions to every rule, but they’re very rare cases where something like PCI-compliance forces the installation of encryption but otherwise would be unnecessary even with personal data handling. Most businesses don't fall into those categories, though.
Generally speaking, if a business collects any form of financial information, they will have their websites hosted over an SSL connection. Also take into consideration whether or not your eCommerce system supports HTTPS/SSL connections automatically upon checkout completion. In other words: Is my shopping cart secure? If it doesn't support encrypted connections out of box - do I know how to get them set up myself? These questions apply regardless of whether you're doing B2B transactions or retail transactions.
There are a few ways to check if you have an SSL installed on your website. The simplest way is to search for https:// in your address bar. If it takes you to a green padlock, then you know that your site uses an SSL Certificate. This tells your customers that they’re connected to a secure site and any information entered into forms will be encrypted before being sent to you. If it doesn’t take you to a green padlock, then that means that you don’t have an SSL Certificate installed and any information entered into forms will not be encrypted before being sent over your connection, which can expose private customer information.
Most browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox will notify you if your connection isn't secure. While most of us may ignore those notifications as we browse through our favourite websites, it's important to understand what HTTPS/SSL certificates are and why they're so important to have for your website.
While it’s easy to see why you want HTTPS, you may be wondering how you get it. Installing an SSL certificate on your website isn’t too difficult, but there are a few steps that are required in order to get one.
After getting an SSL certificate from a provider, you need to install it on your website by updating some code on your server. Then you have to set up some additional security measures so that hackers can’t access any of your information through encrypted channels. There are plenty of ways for bad actors to intercept unsecured HTTP connections, so having an SSL installed on your website is definitely worth it! With just a bit of time and effort, anyone can install an SSL certificate with ease.
Once you have an SSL installed on your website, you’ll see a green padlock icon in your browser’s address bar whenever you load a secure page. This lets people know that their connection to your site is encrypted so that any important information can be shared securely. If you don’t see a green padlock icon, it could mean that there’s something wrong with your server settings or other technical issues.
Now that you’ve got the basic understanding or HTTPS/SSL Certificates, if you're a business owner hopefully you will realise that having that extra layer of security means so much more than just having a green padlock in the address bar when someone is viewing your website in a browser.
When it comes to browsing online, security should always be taken seriously, so if you notice any red flags regarding HTTP connections or SSL settings, contact an IT professional immediately, so with the extra cost per year for an SSL certificate it's a small compromise to adding security not only on the website itself, but also providing confidence to your customers when they are browsing it as you will see more and more business related websites having this feature regardless of them selling anything directly on the website.