You may have glanced up at the address bar whilst browsing the internet and noticed a small padlock alongside the domain name of some of your favourite sites. This icon is displayed in a variety of ways by different browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge etc.) and is often accompanied by the word ‘secure’. It’s generally coloured green to indicate safety and it transforms the URL from an HTTP to an HTTPS address.
The padlock signifies that an ‘SSL certificate’ has been installed on the website you’re currently browsing. This encrypts all traffic between your browser and the site itself, which means that sensitive information such as passwords, email addresses and credit card numbers cannot be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended recipient. An SSL certificate also authenticates ownership of the site – so you can be sure you’re talking to the business you thought you were talking to.
Why are SSL certificates so important?
For many years, web designers have been recommending SSL certificates for clients who take card payments online. But, until recently, encryption has often been overlooked for other web functions such as enquiry forms, event registration or newsletter sign-ups. Now, with the proliferation of hacking, phishing attacks and some high profile data breaches, this situation is changing rapidly.
With the likes of Google, Facebook and WC3 pushing the mantra of ‘privacy by default’, SSL certificates have become more widespread and Cyan Marketing is now recommending encryption for every website it hosts.
Here are the 4 main reasons every company should be encrypting their website with a secure SSL certificate:
- Online payments – this one is a no-brainer. A secure, encrypted connection is essential for any website processing online payments, even if the user’s card details are being taken offsite. Without an SSL certificate, your site will not be deemed to be PCI compliant.
- Data security. It is not just credit card details that hackers are looking to exploit – any personal details such as names, email addresses and confidential information sent via web enquiry forms are all of potential interest to cyber criminals. So it’s vital that your web visitors can see you’re taking measures to safeguard their information.
- Site verification. An SSL certificate proves you are who you say you are, enabling your audience to trust you site. This also helps to avert potential phishing attacks, whereby a third-party impersonates your site to steal and exploit your clients’ sensitive data.
- Google said do it. Major internet firms including Google are now actively pushing for greater security, which has led the search engine to confirm that websites with SSL certificates will now be given priority in their search results.
To secure the private information of your online visitors and build trust in your website, call Cyan Marketing on 01268 778555 and request more information on SSL certificates.