Do I need an SSL Certificate for my website?

It’s likely that you’ve seen the green padlock or green address bar (SSL Certificate) on some of your favourite websites. But what does this mean?

The green padlock is known as a SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.

Do I need an SSL certificate on my site?

You’re probably wondering “Do I need an SSL certificate on my site?“. Plenty of shoppers online are very cautious when making a purchase. They want to make sure their information will be kept safe. Using an SSL certificate will offer two important things:

– Encryption of sensitive data like credit card numbers and personal information.
– Some assurance to your customers that you are trustworthy.

These are 2 very important benefits to having an SSL Certificate. Though having a SSL certificate is not required, it is highly recommended for certain types of websites. To find out whether or your you need an SSL certificate for your website, consider the following questions.

Is my site eCommerce based? Do I sell products? Do I accept credit card information?

If your website is based around eCommerce, then you certainly need an SSL certificate. When selling products online, it is extremely important to ensure that the information you collect from your customers is safe and protected, so the data is not misused.

Your customers are entrusting you with their very important personal details such as credit card information. If someone gets access to this because the necessary precautions were not taken, this could cause serious problems for you and your customers.

Shoppers online want to make sure that your company is taken the necessary steps needed to protect their data. It is becoming more and more popular for shoppers to not make a purchase from a website if it does not have an SSL certificate.

Does my site use a 3rd party payment processor, such as PayPal?

If you have an eCommerce website that uses a 3rd party payment processor (such as PayPal) to make payments and enter their credit card information, you don’t necessarily need an SSL certificate. This is because your website is not handling any of the credit card information, PayPal does that for you. Just ensure that the credit card details are not being entered on your website.

Although it is not necessary, it can still help to have an SSL certificate on your website to increase customer confidence.

Can users register and login to my website?

If users are able to register or login to your website, then it is possible for an attacker to easily access their username and password. Therefore having an SSL certificate may be a necessary step to protecting your users important login details.

If your website does not have an SSL certificate and an attacker gains access to your users login data, they could as a result impersonate this visitor or even compromise the users accounts on many other websites, if they use the same details.

You must take responsibility for protecting your users data and SSL certificate will help with that.

Where can I get an SSL certificate and what is the best type for my website?

So, you’ve taken the important decision to purchase an SSL certificate for your website, but you may be wondering:

  • Where do get one?
  • What type of certificate is best for my website?
  • Which SSL provider should you buy from?

It is important to know what types of certificates are available. You should purchase the relevant type of certificate based on what your website provides:

Domain Validated (DV): Inexpensive, basic protection recommended for personal or hobby sites and small forums that need basic encryption for things like logins, forms or other non-transactional data.

Organization Validated (OV): Affordable protection for small businesses. Recommended for small- to mid-sized business sites where validation of the company is important. Highly recommended for sites with low-volume eCommerce transactions.

Extended Validated (EV): Proven to boost customer confidence. Recommended for mid-sized to enterprise sites where visitor confidence is key. A must for websites with transactions for payments, online banking, and eCommerce.

There are also a large variety of SSL providers including RapidSSL, GeoTrust, Comodo and many more. All of which have great benefits.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions regarding SSL certificates.

The information on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice.

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