Today, more than ever, sensitive information is being shared, uploaded, and processed online. With all of that vulnerable data traveling through the web at speeds previously considered unfathomable, it’s no wonder why encryption of information has become so important.
Whether you operate a t-shirt screen shop out of your garage in Manhattan or run a realtor website focusing on Fort Lauderdale Real Estate, safely and adequately encrypting your data could mean the difference in operating a successful web presence and falling victim to cyber thieves, ultimately sending your hard work up in flames. Underestimating the need for encryption is a far too common occurrence in failed business ventures.
What Does Encryption Really Mean?
Data encryption is talked about all the time. In the news, cyber-attacks are regular occurrences due to the vulnerability of user data or lack of encryption in frequented websites. But what is data encryption?
Encryption is the method in which regular strands of text or information (plaintext) is translated into strings of random letters, numbers, or symbols (known as ciphertext) making it unable to be interpreted by the regular reader. The encrypted data can only be read or understood by those with access to the decryption key.
As long as the encryption method is complex and randomized, the data is generally safe and nearly impossible to be hacked or stolen. Bank accounts, credit cards, social security numbers, and other incredibly valuable pieces of information are protected every second of every day through the use of encryption.
Unlike its HTTP relative, HTTPS is commonly used as a secure data encryption method ensuring authentication of traded data when users visit a website. HTTPS uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), allowing users to verify that their data is not being interfered with when visiting a website or using public Wi-Fi or a shared WLAN network.
While the technical jargon may be hard to follow or understand, there are a plethora of websites which exist merely to clarify the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Website setup is an excellent resource for navigating the ins and outs of creating a secure site and moving to HTTPS if you haven’t already done so.
Obtain an SSL Certificate
Feeling confident that you are visiting a secure website in today’s age is relatively easy. Seeing the little padlock in your browser next to the web address you are visiting is the key symbol to verifying your data is secure.
However, if you’re running a website, how do you ensure that your visitors see this padlock when they visit your web address? Obtaining an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA) will allow browsers to visit your website safely. Again, understanding the nuances in achieving and maintaining SSL certificates can be hard to comprehend at first. Many sites exist to help you go about this seemingly tricky process. Let’s Encrypt is another excellent resource which can help you understand the importance of SSL certificates and trusted CAs.
With more and more users turning to the web for everyday needs, ensuring your traffic is safe and secure should be a top priority. Search engines such as Google are prioritizing vendors in searches with trusted websites. Spending the time and money necessary to ensure safe data transfer on your site will save you headaches in the long run, and keep your website operating at its full potential.