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Why you NEED to have that little padlock (SSL) on your site.

12/10/2020

So what’s the fuss about?

SSL can be a confusing term for those uninitiated, so we thought we would explain the simple bits you need to know, and why it really is important to get your site certified.

What is SSL? What does it do?

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, but that really isn’t important. What matters and what you need to know is that it adds a layer of protection to any customer information entered on your site. If someone completes a contact form on your site with their email address and phone number included then that information is packaged up and sent from your user’s end to your web server.

It is possible for hackers to read this information as it travels from the user on the way to you, kind of like your take away delivery driver having a few of your fries of the way to your house. SSL adds encryption to that data transfer, hiding the information inside from the would be hackers. Imagine this like the restaurant adding a sealed sticker to your order, stopping that greedy driver form getting inside.

In sort SSL helps keep your customer data secure and protect them from malicious entities.

What is SSL? What does it do?

Let’s say you’re running an e-commerce site selling items with a higher value. let’s pretend your selling hot tubs, and as your hot tubs are of the highest quality, they start from £999, after your products are the real deal. Now that’s a lot of money for someone to part with, especially when it’s gone with one click.

Now imagine someone is looking around your site, has looked at your helpful advice and you have won them over, they are going to place an order, at least they were, before they saw the big NOT SECURE with a big ! at the top of the page in your website URL.

If you don’t have a SSL certificate this will show on your site, and even worse, if they click it to find out what it means they are presented with the following text:

“You should not enter any sensitive information on this site, for example (passwords or credit cards), because it could be Stolen by hackers”.

Pretty damming for your hot tub sale right? It’s important to have an SSL certificate in order to give your customers the confidence to buy from you.

You could be in trouble for not protecting your site visitors.

Sticking with our hot tub site, if you store your customer’s information like there card details with a customer account and this gets stolen by hackers. You could be in some serious trouble for not taking reasonable steps to look after their data.

In 2018, very popular question and answer, information sharing site Quora was hacked. Over 100 million users accounts were compromised after the hackers breached the sites security. The company was forced to log out all users that had been affected and invalidating their passwords.

Now Quora avoided any real official punishment for the breach, however the damage to their user numbers and reputation was massive. Imagine telling 100 million of your customers that you failed to protect their information and that they would now to need to sign up to your service again. Many as you can probably guess chose to not re-join.

The good news, SSL isn’t hard to obtain.

SSL comes in different levels, what level of security you need will depend on what customer information your site stores. Logically if your site holds customer card details then your going to need higher security then one that only contains email addresses.

The really good news is that it very easy to install an SSL certificate on a site, and in many cases, if you only have contact/subscription forms on your site its very inexpensive to add. 

If you want to add SSL to your site, we can help. Simply get in touch below.

t: 0117 403 4455
e: hello@westspring-websites.co.uk