If you’ve just started a business, one of the first things that you should get is a website. And if you’ve already got a website, one of the first things that you should get for it is an SSL certificate. Why? Well, there’re more than a few reasons behind it. SSL encryption security is one of the most important things for any modern website, and in this article, we’re going to explain why your website needs SSL encryption security. Since there’s a lot to cover, let’s dive straight into it!
What is an SSL certificate?
Before we get into the reasons why SSL security is vital for your website, it’s essential to understand what it does. It makes your website load over HTTPS, which is the secure version of the default HTTP protocol for the loading of webpages. What changes when your site loads over HTTPS? That’s precisely the question that holds the answer to our main question in the headline. And we are ready to get into the solution of these questions, so let’s see.
SSL Certificate: The weapon to protect your customer data
The first and foremost reason for using SSL certificates like a cheap wildcard SSL certificate is to protect the data of your customers. If your website doesn’t load over HTTPS, there’s a perfect chance that the data of customers/visitors may be stolen. Let me explain how. By default, all websites load over HTTP protocol, which is the standard protocol of the World Wide Web. But this standard protocol is vulnerable to a hacking technique called packet sniffing. The cybercriminals use this technique to steal data while it’s in transit. What they do in this technique is that with specialized software and hardware tools, they capture the data packets of a user while they’re being transmitted. And after obtaining them, they steal the data being sent from those packets. This happens more often on public and shared networks (i.e., Wi-Fi hotspots) because in such networks it is easy to capture data packets.
But if your website loads over HTTPS, this can’t happen because the protocol instructs web browsers of your visitors to encrypt all data packets before they’re transmitted to your web server. So even if someone manages to capture the data packets of your visitors, he won’t be able to steal the data from those data packets because every packet will be encrypted. The encrypted packets can be decrypted to extract data only with the help of a unique private key, which resides on your web server.
That’s the main reason why your website should be protected with an SSL certificate. However, this is not the only reason. The other reasons are given below.
#1. To improve your SEO
Believe it or not, but an SSL certificate can also help you in improving your SEO. In case you don’t know, sites that load over HTTP are given less preference in Google’s search results comparing to the sites that load over HTTPS. Google itself revealed this in a 2014 blog post. Plus, they also suffer from a high bounce rate (the rate of visitors leaving your site within a few seconds of opening it) due to ‘Not Secure’ labels of web browsers, which is another factor that affects your search engine ranking. So, if your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, the other SEO measures taken by you may yield little-to-no results.
#2. To build trust in your brand
Not having an SSL certificate also affects the trust element of your brand. As we said above, websites loading over HTTP are labeled ‘Not Secure’ by the web browsers, which means that without an SSL certificate, you come out as someone who doesn’t care about the security of their visitors. That’s not how your brand should be seen. SSL certificate prevents it from happening, and therefore, increase the trust in your brand.
#3. To put a solid foundation for other security measures
Big buildings are built on strong foundations. Similarly, robust cybersecurity systems are built on the top of reliable internet protocols. And since HTTPS is the most reliable protocol of the World Wide Web, an SSL certificate is a necessary foundation you need for robust cybersecurity of your site. Without SSL, all your other cybersecurity measures can’t provide their best results, no matter how much effort you put into them.
#4. To make life hard for your competition
The primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to protect the data of your customers. But who can steal the data from your customers? Well, a lot of people. The potential number of hands running behind the data of your customers is much more than you can think. Not only cybercriminals, but your competitors can also try to steal the data of your customers. And once stolen, the data can help them target your customers through marketing campaigns. Due to their specific nature, those campaigns can convert your customers into their customers.
#5. To prevent ISPs from spying on the activity of your customers
The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also spy on the data that is being transmitted between you and your customers if your site doesn’t load over HTTPS. All traffic passes through the networks of ISPs, and if they wish, they can intercept it to see the activity of your customers with your website. There’s no reason why a 3rd party should know the information being sent to you by your visitors, and SSL certificates are the tool to prevent this nuisance as well.
So, these are the reasons why it’s necessary to have SSL security on your website. Not only it helps in protecting your customers from cyberattacks but also in protecting your business interests from the evil eyes of your competition. It also improves your SEO and brand image, thus making things a little better for your marketing department. In short, it’s one of the best things that you can do for your business in the early days. Some SSL certificate providers can help you to get a better deal on SSL.