What is all the talk about SSL Certificates?

SSL Certificate

Google indicated that they are moving towards a more secure web and will penalize sites that don’t have a SSL Certificate installed. They are already showing warnings on pages that accept credit cards or where passwords have to be entered.

A friendly tip, never enter your credit card on a website that isn’t using SSL and showing a secure connection.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is the standard security protocol used on the internet. SSL establish an encrypted connection between your computer and the website you are browsing. It ensures that the data passing between the connection remains secure. Without SSL, data being transferred can be intercepted.

How to tell if a site has a SSL Certificate?

There will be a green lock icon and some browsers also have the word “Secure” following the lock icon. There will also be a change in the web address. It will start with https instead of http.

website secured with a SSL Certificate

 

How Does It Work?

I came across an easy to understand video that explains how SSL works.

Why Do I Need it?

  • Having a SSL Certificate installed will create trust with your website visitors. They know they can safely browse your site and that you are concerned for their security while on your site.
  • Google is giving a slight advantage to sites with SSL in their search rankings. Any opportunity to improve your search engine placement, even a small one, is worth the cost and work of setting up the SSL Certificate.

How Do I Get One?

Your hosting company can install a SSL Certificate on your hosting account. There may already be one included in your hosting package. One the SSL Certificate is installed, you will have to make a few changes to your website so it uses the SSL Certificate. This is a fairly straight forward process although you may need to make manual changes to code of your site to ensure it is calling https(secure) images instead of http(not secure) images and other elements on your website pages.

Read Google’s Security Announcement about Moving towards a  more secure web

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