SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is by far the most widely used security protocol today. Whenever data needs to be protected and a secure connection is necessary, an SSL certificate provides a level of security and protection that users can trust. Most people won’t even submit any kind of personal data on a site that doesn’t use an SSL certificate. Thankfully for site owners, there is no excuse not to have an SSL for your site, if you handle any kind of sensitive data. SSL’s are incredibly easy to get and implement and there are many affordable options. Frankly, if you do any kind of eCommerce, you can’t afford not to get one.
What is SSL?
An SSL certificate is a tool that creates a secure channel between two different machines over the internet or over an internal network. Essentially, SSL certificates are used to bind together a server name or hostname and the organization’s identity and location, ensuring you are dealing with the right party and that your connection is secure. Users are able to tell they are working over a secure connection when their URL prefix changes to “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”. Also, most browsers will display a padlock and have a green indicator to let the user know their connection is protected.
How Does it Work?
Once you purchase an SSL, you will go through a vetting or verification process that proves you are indeed the company or individual that owns the site and that it is an official site for your company. When that is completed, you will install the SSL certificate on your web server that activates the padlock icon and https protocol which is used over port 443. The user now has a secure connection with your site and can be sure of who they are giving up their information to.
Why do I need an SSL?
Most commonly, SSL is used for credit card and payment transactions, data transfers and logins. Due to the personal nature of the data involved, more and more social networks are also taking care of your security with SSL certificates. In reality, any site that is dealing with personal info, especially financial information, should have an SSL. This is because any of that information that is sent over an unsecured connection is vulnerable to interception from attackers. Whether it is a credit card number, or a user name and login, or even worse a social security number; losing a user’s information can put you in some very hot water.
Where do I get an SSL?
There are many providers out there that offer varying kinds of SSL certificates to meet your needs. Here are a few that we recommend: