The Importance of SSL Certificates
SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and we’ve covered in one of our recent articles that it is the guaranty of security of websites that private information such as customer names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers are handled correctly. With an SSL certificate, you establish a secure connection between a customer’s web browser and the server of your company.
Why is it important?
The main purpose of an SSL certificate, as mentioned above, is to protect customer personal information by encrypting it and making sure that it cannot be accessed by undesired parties. When someone fills in a form on the Internet, the information doesn’t reach the “final destination” directly. It has to pass through a number of computers and therefore the chances for this information to be intercepted by someone else are higher. That’s where the beauty of an SSL certificate steps in. An SSL certificate will insert random characters into the original information making it unreadable and incomprehensible if someone, without the proper encryption key will try to obtain access to the information. When a customer clicks on your website, they will notice that the http protocol is replaced with https and they will see a lock image located somewhere in the browser’s status, which means that the web page they’re visiting is secure.
Necessary for Accepting Payments
If you have an online business and need to take credit card payments, you will only be able to do so if you have an SSL certificate, with the proper encryption of at least 128-bit, in order to meet Payment Card Industry compliance. In this way, PCI standards verify that your website is a trusted source and the SSL certificate you’re using provides the right strength of encryption.
Protects Against Phishing
Phishing is the attempt to trick customers into giving away private information like bank account numbers, credit card details, passwords by leading them to a convincing replica of an otherwise reputable site. However, scammers who build these fake sites will most likely not have an SSL certificate since they won’t be able to get one. That’s why it’s important to check if the website you’re accessing is secure or not. Most customers will abandon a website if they do not see that it is secure.
Builds Customer Trust
All of the above-mentioned reasons will work together to build trust between your business and customers. Making sure that the personal information of your clients is secured will allow them to experience a positive buying experience.
The authorization process necessary to obtain a trusted SSL certificate could take a while, but with the given benefits, it is definitely worth the effort. Running your online business without one will probably end up in scaring customers away and making them turn to competition. Given that the cyberspace isn’t the safest place and there are scammers everywhere, getting an SSL certificate would give your visitors some sort of peace of mind.
Are there any disadvantages?
Well, everything comes with a price. Literally. Of course, in order to get your identity validated you will have to pay and since there are some providers that are so well known, their prices can be overwhelmingly high. Also, performance could be a slight drawback. The information that you send will be encrypted by the server, so it will take more resources than if it weren’t encrypted. However, this is a noticeable issue only for high traffic websites and the solution would be special hardware.
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