What is HTTPS and SSL and why is it important?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure it is the standard for safe communication via a web browser. Transferring data with HTTP is not as secure and is open for anyone to see, while HTTPS uses a security layer called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which adds encryption, which means only your computer and web server you contacting can decipher the data.
There are 3 types of SSL Certificates:
- Single Domain – This is what most of us will use as small business owners. The certificate will cover all the transaction on one domain.
- Multi-Domain – Yes it is exactly what it sounds like. It covers multiple domains. You would buy them in packages covering 4-5 domains.
- Wildcard certificate – Is usually the most expensive on and cover all subdomains on a single root domain or hostname.
The benefits of using an SSL certificate are:
- Privacy – encryption means that no 3rd party can track your activities or steal your information
- Data Integrity – If someone tries to modify or corrupt the data during transfer an error will occur during decryption, which means no changes can be made to data without detection.
- Authentication – Successful decryption proves that you are communicating with the genuine site and this builds user trust.
The reason it is important to get an SSL certificate on your website is that in October of 2017 Google started showing a NOT SECURE warning on all sites that do not have an SSL certificate. What this means for business owners is that when a potential client comes to your website they will not feel like they can trust your business to either make a purchase or give their contact information. (The Not Secure message appears when someone tries to enter information on your website).
The most important thing in business is to build trust with your target market and your website is the number one way you do that online. If your site is not secure I recommend contacting your web developer or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance.