What are SSL Certificates, and Why Do You Need One?

Chances are, if you are a website owner, you will have heard the phrase SSL certificate many times. However, many website owners are still utterly clueless about what an SSL certificate entails, and why it is so important that they have one.

But fear not! Kreativity is here to explain all; including what an SSL certificate is, the benefits, and why it is vital that you implement one on your website.

First things first – What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL is an abbreviation for a Secure Sockets Layer, a digital certificate that helps to create a super-secure link between your website and your visitor’s browser. An SSL Certificate digitally encrypts information, enabling sensitive data such as credit card numbers and login credentials to be safely transmitted, without leaving it vulnerable to malicious interception. This is vital for any business that may handle any form of personal information, from a simple contact form to online shopping or service payment transactions via their website. Not having an SSL certificate will mean that your website shows a “Not Secure” message at the top of a browser, whereas sites with an SSL certificate will have a padlock symbol and HTTPS at the start of their URL – demonstrating their security.

If you’ve ever visited a website that says “Not Secure” at the top, have you wanted to spend your money on there, or trust that company with your information? We definitely haven’t! Now you understand the basics, we know what you are thinking, does my website really need an SSL certificate? In short: Yes. It is critical your website has an SSL certificate if you are asking for any personal information. However, it isn’t just essential for security and company reputation.

Search engines are actively cracking down on what they may perceive as a ‘non-secure website’. Since August 2018, Google recommends that every website secures itself with an SSL certificate, whilst announcing that HTTPS was a ranking signal in search engine positioning since as long ago as 2014. As such, having an SSL Certificate with HTTPS could be the ultimatum between two different sites in terms of their Google ranking – even if they are on par in terms of SEO, speed and content. Therefore, if you want your website to be viewed as credible, legitimate and trustworthy, an SSL certificate is essential. 

Here are Five Benefits of Having an SSL Certificate for your Website:

Extra Protection for Sensitive Data

In a highly competitive market, customer data is the diamond for every organisation. All information transferred over an SSL connection is encrypted, offering maximum security; ensuring there is no way an interceptor can access the information. You can rest assured that vital information and data will always only reach the intended parties. 

Maintain PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) maintains a set of standards that all websites need to comply with if they wish to take payments – with an SSL certificate being at the top of the list. Setting up an SSL certificate is the first move to make sure your website is a safe, secure, and a PCI compliant place to process payments. 

Improves Your Search Engine Ranking

Popular search engines typically always consider HTTPS when determining a website ranking. Additionally, they also warn users if they visit a website that doesn’t use HTTPS or have a valid certificate. To sum it up, not having a certificate will impact negatively on your SEO and gives the impression to your visitors that it isn’t secure.

Improves Customer Loyalty and Trust

Did you know that 85% of online shoppers avoid unsecured websites? And with all the hype of data security and GDPR, it isn’t a surprise. 

Customer loyalty and trust is a critical component to the success of every business, and most people will not make a purchase if they think their personal information might be compromised. An SSL certificate is a transparent and robust way to show that you care about customer privacy and are committed to protecting their data. 

Prevent Phishing Attacks 

In today’s modern world, cyber-attacks are becoming ever more prevalent. It is increasingly common for a cyber-criminal to launch a copycat website, luring customers in and gaining access to their card details and login credentials. In fact, Symantec’s Internet Security Threat 2019 report stated that 1 in 10 URLs were still malicious. SSL Certificates show your visitors that your website is the real deal, increasing their trust and loyalty, and therefore improving the chances of them making a purchase or filling in a contact form. 

Do you have a website that needs an SSL certificate? Or are you launching a new website and are thinking about what you need to consider? Whatever services you are looking for, Kreativity Marketing is here to revolutionise your business. Get in touch today, we would love to hear from you!

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