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It is not just Google that recognises and wants you to install an SSL certificate on your website. Installing an SSL certificate can impact your business revenue by increasing your online customer’s trust. The trust comes from having a secured and data encrypted website. Purchasing a certificate is very easy, however before we go into the technical aspects, let me expain what an SSL certificate is, and how it works.

What’s an SSL Certificate?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate, also called a Digital Certificate, creates a secure link between a website and a visitor’s Internet browser. By ensuring that all data passed between the two remains private and secure, SSL encryption prevents hackers from stealing private information such as credit card numbers, names and addresses.

There are different types of SSL Certificates and it is always important to talk with your web developer about which is best for the services (or products) your promoting.

How do I know that I have an SSL Certificate installed?

When you look at a website URL, if an SSL certificate is activated, a padlock will be displayed and the https protocol applied to your domain name. If you were to copy a URL, the “s” at the end of the “http” part of a URL means the website is secure. HTTPS means Hypertext Transport Protocol Security.

My site doesn’t collect sensitive data, do I still need this?

Yes! Google Chrome has labelled all HTTP pages as non-secure and will change the HTTP security indicator (padlock) to a red triangle with an exclamation mark as a warning. Also, you may receive a browser message that the website is not secure. This protocol is part of their long term plan to mark all sites serving over HTTP as “NOT SECURE”.

Therefore, if you are selling anything over the Internet, especially if you have an online store, it is extremely important that you have an SSL Certificate installed. If you don’t you may lose customers, and your site won’t rank well on a Google search (or on any other search engine).

How much is an SSL Certificate?

A basic SSL certificate ranges from $5.88 to $30.00 USD per year, depending on your hosting provider. If you’re buying hosting for the first time, many hosting providers will offer you 1 year free. You do need to repurchase and reinstall an SSL certificate each year.

What information or data does my website collect?

This will depend on your website, and what you’re offering and collecting online. If we consider the broad spectrum of websites in cyberspace, many websites can receive, process, collect, store, or display confidential or sensitive information. Examples of this information are:

  • logins and passwords
  • financial information (e.g., credit card numbers, bank accounts)
  • personal data (e.g., names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates)
  • proprietary information
  • legal documents and contracts
  • client lists
  • medical records

How will my visitors see that my site is secured?

They can see the following in your website:

  • Padlock to the left of a URL
  • https URL prefix instead of http
  • A trust seal
  • A green address bar (when an EV SSL certificate is issued)

You can easily obtain an SSL certificate for your website. Talk to your hosting provider or if we’re developing your website, we always make sure that your website is secured.

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Photo by rupixen on Unsplash

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