What is an SSL certificate and why do I need it?

By November 19, 2019 Google

Whether you have a small or large website, you must have read about website security and data security. Thinking about website security brings up multiple questions.

  • What is an SSL certificate?
  • How do I know if my site is secure?
  • My website is small, why do I need an SSL certificate?
  • Do I need an SSL if we don’t collect any data from visitors?
  • What if my website is a personal blog?

How do I check if my website is secure or not?

A website is secure when the browser address bar has a green padlock. Another way to check if a website is secure is to see if the website URL uses https rather than http. The “S” at the end of HTTPS stands for “Secure”. This means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

A green padlock plus the name of the company or organization, also in green, means the website has an Extended Validation (EV) certificate which assures you that the website is under the control of the company it claims to be.

Did you know: More than 50% of the web pages is now encrypted?

What does SSL and HTTPS stand for and what makes them secure?

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information such as visitor’s personal information and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a visitor’s web browser and the server of the company they’re interacting with.

HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a “code” between them, and then they scramble the messages using that “code” so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.

How do I know if a site is not secure?

In the modern age, secure websites are preferred over non-secured sites. Both Chrome and Firefox browsers alert you when you are on a non-secure web page which may collect some form of personal information. Just because a site lacks an SSL Certificate doesn’t mean it is a bad site, but it should cause you to pause before inputting any personal information.

What are the benefits of a secure website?

  • Secure connection between the browser and the server of the website they are visiting.
  • Visitors trust when a website is secured. HTTPS site with green padlock and company or organization name increases the credibility and trust of a website and company.
  • Protects visitor information
  • Google ranks secured sites higher in search results compared to an unsecured site.

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