Notice how some URLs start with “http://” and others with “https://”?
What does the extra “s” mean?
In simple terms, the extra letter means that the website is encrypted, and your connection is secured. That “s” is SSL or Secure Sockets Layer.
In this article, we’ll talk about SSL and how it can be used to secure your site and its users.
What is an SSL?
As a user, you’ve probably encountered websites where you fill a form and hit submit. But where does all this information go?
When you have users that use and submit sensitive information on your website such as banking details, passwords, address, and contact numbers, security must be your number one priority.
SSL’s job is to safeguard sensitive data between web clients and web servers. Meaning, everything that you input on a website will be transferred over a secure connection to prevent hackers from eavesdropping and looking at sensitive information.
The evolution of the internet involves better protection and security of websites and its users.
But the bad news is that a lot of creative online criminals are also doing their best and lurking around various websites looking for their victims. Not having SSL can make you their target.
Why is SSL important?
Google, the top search engine, encourages website owners to install SSL or HTTPS protocol to ensure that your website is encrypted and safe to access.
SSL ensures that any of the sensitive data of your website’s users are transferred through a secure network.
However, despite the importance of SSL, the implementation of some websites are yet to be adopted.
It could be because of the price or even the process of installation.
Luckily, more and more hosting providers like Bluehost offer free SSL certificates and free installations when you host your website on their platform.
Why should you install SSL?
Having an SSL installed is vital and here are the reasons to convince why your site should have one.
The main benefit of installing SSL is encryption.
This means that when you or your users enter information at your site such as username and email address, the data will go to multiple layers before it goes to its intended receiver.
In contrast, having no SSL means that these sensitive data will be sent as plain text and attracts malicious cybercriminals to use for their own accord.
Increase in credibility and customer trust
If you ever come across a warning of “your connection is not private” then that is the exact sample of how an unsecured website loads to their visitors.
If your website is like that, chances are, visitors won’t push through with their visit.
Having SSL is crucial from a customer perspective. They can easily see whether the data they will send is secured.
If they have this peace of mind, they are more likely to do business with you.
Google gives secure websites a bit of a ranking increase compared to those that don’t have them. This will give you an advantage over your competitors that lacks better security.
Google has also rolled out warnings, and penalties for sites that do not have SSL certificates installed.
So it’s a win-win situation if you install one on your website.
How to install SSL
Installing an SSL certificate is a really simple way to secure your site and your users from hackers.
To install SSL, determine what type of certificate your blog needs.
Most of the time, the standard SSL is enough, but depending on your industry and the number of sites you own, you may want to look for paid SSL certifications and professional installation if you’re not familiar with such.
However, in most circumstances, using a paid Certificate Authority is a lot better especially if you have your own enterprise site or own multiple sites.
Check out these trusted companies that offer SSL to make sure yours won’t fail you and your users.
If you want to install the certificate yourself, you can do so by going to your web host control panel and pasting your certificate.
If your website runs on WordPress, you can also use a plugin like Really Simple SSL to configure your certificate automatically but you should buy your own certificate first for this to work.
Installing SSL is a really simple solution to add a layer of security to your website. So make sure not to overlook the added security you can do to your site and protect your users from being hacked.