After years of threatening website owners, Google has finally done it and has started to hit websites without SSL encryption where it hurts – namely their SERP (Search Engine Results Page). If you have not felt the pain yet, don’t worry as soon enough you will!!
To pile on more pressure, Chrome Browser (yes the one made by Google) and Firefox (nothing to do with Google), have started to warn users about non-encrypted websites when users visit them.
So let’s examine why this is important and why you need to take action.
Encryption scrambles the content of transmission between the user’s browser and the website server, hence makes it more difficult to eavesdrop on the transmissions.
When websites are not encrypted the page content from the server and requests from the device’s browser are sent in plain format, so anyone who manages to intercept your connection can see what is being sent back-and-forth between the device and the server.
This is particularly important when you are buying goods and services online, hence transmitting information such as your credit card details, personal information (DoB, home address, etc.).
Encryption ensures this information is much more difficult to intercept and capture.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server (in this case the website) and a client (visitor’s browser).
When a website is using SSL, the addresses show HTTPS instead of HTTP. This indicates that your connection is encrypted or “Secure”. The visitor will also see a Green Padlock in their browser address bar to give them peace of mind.
In a word “NO”!
The purpose of SSL is to secure the transmission and not the website. Website are hacked using software vulnerability, as well as poorly secured server connection such as FTP. SSL does not have any impact on these aspects of your websites
SSL or encryption protects the exchange of information between users and servers, hence there is less likelihood of eavesdropping and gathering of information by bad actors.
For this reason any website that exchanges personal information should use SSL to secure and protect visitors to the website and users of the services.
There are different types of SSL from simple encryption to those who also provide “Anti-Fraud” insurance.
If you have shared hosting or cloud hosting, you need to get your SSL from your Hosting provider. Some hosting companies such as Cognisant Hosting provide SSL certificates free of charge. You can get Enhanced or Extended SSL with insurance against fraud to get further protection and offer more peace of mind to visitors. However, this is really only necessary where you have financial transaction such as e-commerce, or any site that uses online payment.
If you have a Dedicated Server or VPS (Virtual Private Server), you could purchase your SSL certificate from any source and install it on your server.
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