Google’s recent SSL certificate requirement
When it comes to your personal security and privacy, Google doesn’t mess around. They are trying to come up with every way possible to make us feel more secure while browsing the internet. Especially with the rise of cyber-crime in the past few years. As of Chrome version 62, released in October 2017, Google Chrome will be flagging your website as “not secure” if you don’t have an SSL.
What is an SSL certificate?
Now, before I get too far into the benefits of having an SSL certificate, I should probably explain exactly what an SSL is. SSL stands for secure socket layer and is the industry standard security technology for encrypting the link between a web server and a browser. This secure link ensures that all data passing between server and browser remain private and integral I.E. passwords, credit card numbers, and any input fields like a web form. Today it is called TLS (transport layer security) but they are basically the same thing, just a newer version. Still not sure what an SSL is? If you use Chrome, you should recognize this picture if you’ve ever visited a secure site (which you most certainly have).
Why is an SSL certificate important for your business?
1. encrypting sensitive information
Every keystroke, website visit, usernames and passwords, cookies, etc. is simply data passing between two computers’. That data is basically open to the public if it isn’t encrypted. With an SSL, the information becomes encrypted and is unreadable to everyone except the computer you are sending information to. If you have ever been hacked, and your credit card has been used without your knowing, or your identity stolen, you know how important it is to keep this information safe
2. Builds trust with your customers
Your customer’s will visually be able to see that your website is secure, (refer to the picture of the URL bar above) with a nice little green padlock in the top left corner. But not everyone knows what that means you say? As of Chrome version 62, if you don’t have an SSL, you will be stopped by a big red flag saying this site is not secure. You will be asked to not visit the site, but that if you do still wish to visit the unsafe site, you do so at your own risk. Most people seeing this message are bound to leave, and probably visit your competitor instead. Having the green padlock icon makes your customers feel comfortable visiting your site and builds trust.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
What I consider to be probably one of the more important factors, is your SEO rankings. Every business should have a website, I mean, it’s 2018. But your website isn’t just for looks, you want your name to get out there and bring in more customers. You’re advertising. That’s what SEO is for, when someone googles a query that has to do with a service or product your business offers, you probably want to be on that first page of the search engine results page. Google has stated over the years how having (or not having) an SSL will impact your rankings. Their goal is to make the entire web a safe place.
SSL is a MUST, plain and simple. Fortunately, with my web services I offer a free SSL included with my WordPress hosting packages (on average about a $60/yr value bare minimum).