SSL: what are you risking without one?

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol that allows you to transmit private documents over the internet. When the web browser tries to connect to a server, the SSL sends two keys to encrypt the data: a public key and a private one.  The private key is a message to the server asking it to identify itself.  The server has to show its SSL Certificate before the browser will start an encrypted session. This means that any data shared between the server and the browser is secure.  To break it down:

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  1. Your internet connection (the browser) says “Hey, I want to connect with this server! But I need to be sure I can trust you”
  2. The server (website) says “It’s ok, I’m certified” and sends a copy of its certificate
  3. The browser checks the certificate and creates a one-time use password (encryption key)
  4. The server uses the password and opens a secure channel
  5. Any data shared in the channel is encrypted and can only be read by the two users.

 

How can you tell is a server has an SSL certificate?

Since October 2017 Google has indicated a secure connection by showing the websites URL in green with a lock icon.  You can also see the URL starts with HTTPS (HyperTest Transfer Protocol Secure) versus HTTP.  If you enter search terms on a site that only has HTTP anyone can read any data you send to and from a server. While this may not be so bad if you’re searching for the best burger in Toronto, there are some things you want to stay secure.

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Should you move your company website to HTTPS?

Customers want to know they can trust your website. If you run an e-commerce business or ask your users to submit any personal information you want to guarantee a secure connection. Any time you sell a product, require a username and password, or offer a membership this data is sent as clear text unless protected by a secure connection.

More than added security, having an SSL provides great benefits to your company. Stats show it has a positive ranking factor on Google. The majority of first page results on Google are website with HTTPS in their URL. Websites that are SSL protected have faster loading time and a lower bounce rate.  These are both strong indicators of trust between the user and your website.

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The internet is full of so much information; you want to make sure yours is secure.  By adding an SSL certificate to your company website you create end-to-end encryption of both your customers’ data and your company’s. If you choose not to use an SSL, you are leaving that data vulnerable to anyone.

Still not sure if an SSL is right for your company? Talk to an expert today at Thinkbound Marketing Solutions.

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