Many website owners believe that security is only important when it comes to credit card transactions, but the truth is that security should always be a priority regardless of the type of website you have. That’s where a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate can help.
In short, an SSL certificate ensures an encrypted connection between the server and browser in order to protect sensitive data from being intercepted. Check out how SSL certificates can safeguard your data and help improve user confidence in your website below.
What is an SSL Certificate?
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate works by essentially activating a padlock on your website with HTTPS protocols for a secure connection between the website’s server and the web browser. An SSL certificate ensures an encrypted connection to protect sensitive data from being intercepted by outside entities.
Although SSL certificates are complicated in nature, they’re easy to obtain and incredibly value to your website. They’re much more common today than they were just a few years ago because businesses have plenty of reasons to use them. While some websites use SSL for encryption, others use it to increase users’ trust in their site and establish legitimacy.
Types of SSL Certificates
There are now a few types of digital certificates available for your website because there are several different applications for SSL security. Each offers a different level of user trust, so the right one for your website will depend on the type of security that matters most to your business.
Domain Validation SSL Certificate
This type of certificate uses the certificate authority (entity that distributes certificates) to make sure the applicant has the right to use the domain name. No company identity information is verified and no information will be displayed aside from encryption information within the Secure Site Seal.
A Domain Validation certificate is a good choice if you want to protect internal systems. However, this type of SSL isn’t recommended for a commercial or ecommerce website because visitors can’t verify through the certificate if the business is legitimate.
Organization Validation SSL Certificate
This type of digital certificate uses the certificate authority to verify the applicant has the right to use the domain name.
It also involves a vetting process, although this vetting process isn’t the most thorough. To get an Organization Validation certificate, your organization will be checked against government-hosted business registry databases. Vetted company information will be displayed to customers who click on the Secure Site Seal.
Extended Validation SSL Certificate
This type of digital certificate uses the certificate authority to check the applicant has the right to use the specific domain name and conducts a vetting of the organization itself.
Before an Extended Validation SSL certificate can be issued, the entity’s legal, operational, and physical existence must be verified. The identity of the entity or organization must match official records and the entity must have the exclusive right to use the domain.
In addition to displaying the padlock icon to visitors in the address bar of their browser, an Extended Validation certificate will trigger a visible green bar to distinguish your secured site from others.
This certificate offers the greatest amount of security and trust. If you plan to conduct any business transactions online, an Extended Validation certificate is by far the best choice.
What Makes an SSL Certificate So Important?
A digital certificate serves many functions, from safeguarding customer information and login credentials to establishing trust and legitimacy with your audience. Those aren’t the only reasons your website needs an SSL certificate, we’ve listed some of their other key benefits below.
- Improve your website’s SEO. Google has attempted to convince website owners to boost security by making HTTPS a ranking factor for their search results. What’s more, Google Chrome now marks sites that do not have HTTPS as non-secure to warn visitors.
- Secure site seal helps increase conversions. Data has shown that a website security seal boosts conversion rates. Additionally, a lack of security will scare visitors away. It’s reported that approximately 60% of customers will abandon a purchase due to a missing security icon.
- Encrypts sensitive information. A primary benefit of SSL is it keeps sensitive data transmitted online encrypted, which means only the intended recipient will understand the information. Encryption is one of the key ways to guard against identity thieves and hackers. Sensitive information doesn’t have to just be credit cards or social security numbers. It can be your name, address, phone number, or email too.
- Authentication. An SSL certificate offers authentication so you will be sure you are sending data to the right server, not an impostor.
- Improves trust. All browsers offer visual cues like a padlock icon or the green bar with an Extended Validation certificate that lets the visitor know their connection is secure. These cues increase trust in your website and show that you are a legitimate organization.
- SSL is necessary for PCI compliance. If you are going to accept credit card payments, you will be required to have a proper SSL certificate to remain in compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
Your website security needs to be a top priority in order to increase your online business. One of the best ways to kickstart your site’s security efforts and trust factors is through having an SSL certificate. Of course, website development may not be your forte or you could simply be too busy to worry about certifying your site yourself. Save yourself the time and headache by having our skilled experts handle the job for you!