It is fair to say that from a social perspective, websites that have an SSL Cert are more trusted than those without. People visiting your website expect to see the “green lock” icon. An SSL cert ensures that all data being transferred is encrypted; they provide your site with a layer of security around your information that it otherwise wouldn’t have. This makes it worthwhile to pay for an SSL Cert for your website.
What is an SSL Cert?
A Security Socket Layer (SSL) is an encryption code that protects your information as it is sent between a web browser and a web server.
It allows private information such as personal details and financial information to be sent online without risk of this information getting stolen if intercepted. The information is encrypted to everyone except the server the information is being sent to.
An SSL Certificate is a certificate to prove that the information sent to and from the website is encrypted.
Remember, it doesn’t ensure that the website you are dealing with is reputable, but it does assure you of private communication.
A website encrypted with an SSL can be identified by a https web address, rather than http, which doesn’t provide secure communication. They may also be identified by a green lock key beside the URL.
Why do I need an SSL Cert?
It is recommended that companies secure their visitors information using an SSL to prevent people from stealing information as it is being sent from the website.
An SSL Cert can also verify that a website is the one it claims to be. This is a more advanced type of SSL Certificate but can be very beneficial for some companies. This type of certificate prevents any identity thieves from claiming to be your company.
What if I already use PayPal?
As websites with SSL Certs provide encrypted communication, it is worthwhile having an SSL Cert, even if you use secure sites such as PayPal.
An SSL Cert will protect any private information on your site that does not involve PayPal, e.g. address and names of customers. This is especially useful if there is a log in service on your website or any other service that involves personal information being uploaded to your site.
Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge ..) are now starting to notify users when a website doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, specifically when visitors start to input information into forms.
And search engines such as Google are starting to give a more positive rank boosting towards sites that have SSL certificates.
Although SSL Certificates do not guarantee that the company you are dealing are trustworthy, you can however be assured that the communication with the company is encrypted. Although we shouldn’t give complete trust to sites that have SSL certificates, people are aware that if they are passing credit card details or personal/private information, they would prefer their information to be passed securely so it cannot be compromised.