For anyone researching general website security, the command to buy SSL certificate often tops the list. Why is that? Is it that important to keep your website and its users safe? Yes, actually. Read on to find out why.
Encrypting your website’s communications
Ever notice that certain websites either have HTTP and HTTPS in the web browser address bar? And that HTTPS is usually accompanied by a padlock symbol? That’s no accident. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, the secure version of the HTTP protocol that allows for communications on the World Wide Web. It’s what makes websites work in your web browser. HTTPS websites are the standard for safe Internet browsing. And SSL certificates make them possible.
An SSL is a digital certificate you install on your website’s server to encrypt your website’s communications. Encryption is a little complicated, but in basic terms, it is the process of encoding information, transforming it from plaintext to ciphertext, so that it appears scrambled and unreadable to anyone that doesn’t have the correct key to unlock and unscramble it.
When an SSL-secured website communicates with a user’s browser, any information sent between the two is encrypted while in transit. As a result, only the authorized parties at each connection end have permission to read the plaintext information. The SSL allows for this through a complicated process known as the SSL handshake.
The web security standard
SSL is no longer just a good, optional security extra you should get for your site. In the last few years, it’s become all but mandatory. With the push towards “HTTPS everywhere” across the web, popular web browsers like Edge, Firefox, and Chrome have started flagging sites without SSL as potentially “not secure.”
So when users try to visit a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed, they’ll receive a warning (often accompanied by a scary red background) telling them that the site they’re trying to visit may not be safe. For most users, continuing to such a site is less than appealing. Why visit a potentially unsafe site when you can visit a site with SSL?
The result is clear. If you choose to go without SSL, you choose to go without a whole heap of potential website visitors.
How can I obtain an SSL certificate?
You can purchase SSL certificates directly through the Certificate Authority (CA). Certificate Authorities, often called Certification Authorities, provide millions of SSL certificates every year. They play a crucial part in how the internet functions and how secure, transparent interactions can take place on the internet.
The price associated with an SSL certificate could range from free to hundreds of dollars, based on the security level you want. After you have decided which kind of certificate you need, you will then search for Certificate Issuers that provide SSLs in the amount you need.
SSL is vital for many reasons, for your website safety and user peace of mind. By getting an SSL, you’re not only contributing to making the web a safer place to be, but you’re also showing that you care for your users’ privacy.