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How Important is SSL Encryption & do you need it?

Home > How Important is SSL Encryption & do you need it?
 
Posted by on February 26, 2020 in |
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If you saw your nosy neighbor hiding in your garden, you wouldn’t stand by your window yelling about your foot fungus. You’d close your windows, pull the curtains shut, and use only the softest of voices when talking about your mysterious growth. Like your nosiest neighbor, hackers get their thrills from getting other people’s personal data.

When websites don’t have SSL certificates, it’s easy for hackers to get their sticky little fingers on credit card information, home addresses, and a host of other things it’d be nightmarish for a hacker to know about you. That’s why it’s essential for websites to have an SSL certificate.

What are SSL certificates?

When you visit a website, a text protocol called HTTP sends information back-and-forth between your device and the website you’re visiting. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, because it encrypts data from your device.

This makes it so that only the website you’re visiting can read data from your computer. Your website gets HTTPS when you get an SSL certificate.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s what lets users know your connection is secure. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, people who visit your website will know that any information they give you won’t be transmitted securely.

And how likely do you think it is that they’ll give you their credit card information if they don’t think you can protect their data?

Apart from getting customers to buy from you, why else do you need an SSL certificate?

  1. SSL Certificates prove your identity has been verified
  2. You can’t be PCI compliant without an SSL certificate
  3. SSL certificates help you rank better in search engines
  4. Popular search engines warn visitors when your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate

SSL certificates prove your identity

One of the functions of an SSL certificate is to prove that you are who you say you are (and, more importantly, that your website is what it says it is).

You can’t get an SSL certificate without getting verified by an independent Certificate Authority. When visitors see that your website has been verified, they know they can trust you.

You an SSL certificate to be PCI compliant

Because it’s so easy to pretend to be someone else online, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) makes it a requirement for anyone collecting credit card information online to get an SSL certificate to protect cardholders’ information.  Any business that collects credit card information has to be PCI compliant.

So, if you want people to buy from your online store, you need to have an SSL certificate.

SSL certificates help you rank better

You can write jazzed-up headlines and improve your social media marketing till the cows come home, but if you don’t have an SSL certificate, you’ll still rank at the bottom of search results. This means nobody will ever see your gorgeous website, and all your hard work will have been for nothing.

Popular search engines warn visitors when your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate

If nobody would ever find out you didn’t have one, you could probably procrastinate on getting an SSL certificate. But those pesky search engines won’t let your website be unsecured in peace.

When someone tries to visit your unsecured website, a scary-looking warning message pops up on their screen. Sometimes, the message warns the visitor that if they continue to the website, hackers could get ahold of their personal data.

Most people who see this message won’t bother visiting your website. Some virus protection software won’t even let people access your website once this message pops up.

You lose customers when you don’t have an SSL certificate.

Are there are problems with your SSL certificate?

You can use an SSL certificate checker to figure out whether there are problems with your SSL certificate. An SSL certificate checker will tell you whether your certificate has been correctly installed and whether it’s working properly.

Types of SSL certificates

The three types of SSL certificates are EV SSL (Extended Validation), Organization Validated (OV) SSL, and Domain Validated (DV) SSL.

Even though the vetting and verification process is different for each type of SSL certificate, each certificate gives you the same level of encryption.

EV SSL certificates verify that you have the right to use a certain domain name and that you’ve been thoroughly vetted by the Certificate Authority.

OV SSL certificates verify that you have the right to use a certain domain name and that you’ve been vetted by the Certificate Authority.

DV SSL certificates verify that you are, indeed, the person who has the right to use a certain domain name, but they don’t verify that your company has been vetted by the Certificate Authority.

Each type of SSL certificate will look a bit different in your users’ search bar, but they’ll all give you the coveted green font that tells your visitors it’s safe to use your website.

Sectigo is one of the biggest certifying authorities in the world, and you can also choose Positive SSL certificates that have been sourced from them. That way, you can get industry-standard encryption at a ridiculously low cost. (Monsterhost can offer these so cheaply because we get heavily discounted SSL certificates from Sectigo.)

How do you get an SSL certificate?

The first thing you need to do is choose a web hosting account from a hosting company that gives you lots of extra hosting services to keep your website running smoothly and safely.

From there, it’s pretty easy to get an SSL certificate; just ask your hosting company! For instance, in addition to its regular hosting services, Monsterhost offers lots of options for SSL certificates. (You can buy it as a separate service or as an add-on.)

Are SSL certificates expensive?

In case the reason you don’t yet have an SSL certificate is that you’re imagining a price tag with an inordinate number of zeroes, you don’t have to put this off any longer.

You can get a good SSL certificate without breaking your piggy bank.

Monsterhost even offers free SSL certificates, so you don’t have to spend any money at all if you don’t want to. (The catch is that, like most free services, the free SSL certificate available in cPanel. They are not issued by an official body like our Comodo certs. But it’s great for having a safety net until you can buy an SSL certificate.)

Purchasing SSL certificates

If you’d rather invest in the paid, fully recognised versions of SSL certificates, you can buy them for a lot less than you’re probably thinking.

SSL certificate prices are generally pretty reasonable. And SSL certificates practically pay for themselves!

They improve your search engine ranking and help you avoid scaring off your customers with intimidating warning messages about the potential danger of visiting your website, which means more customers (and more money!) for you.

Monsterhost offers different SSL certificate packages, so you can choose the one that’s best for your website and your budget.

The wrap-up

Getting an SSL certificate is one of the easiest ways to get people to trust you, even if your website is new. If you want to take advantage of this easy way to get more customers, talk to one of our friendly customer support agents. We’ll be happy to help!