You have a beautiful website, one with a great design that shows off your desirable product and compelling story. But there are three letters that can sabotage it all: SSL. Without an SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, potential clients will click away from your site before even taking a glance at your homepage. The good news is that getting your site secured with an SSL certificate is a relatively simple part of your cybersecurity plan.
What Is an SSL Certification and What Does It Do?
A Secure Sockets Layer protects your customers’ data by creating an encrypted link between a visitor’s web browser and your server. In simpler terms, it protects the exchange of information between you and your customers.
Even if you’ve never heard of SSL, you’ve probably noticed it on other websites. In addition to creating an encrypted connection that protects your data behind the scenes, an SSL certification will give an indication in your browser that the encryption is present and working. In Google Chrome, this is symbolized by a padlock which appears in front of the site’s URL. Other browsers use similar indicators. But the one fail-safe way to check if your site or a site you are browsing is secure is to check if the URL begins with the unsecured “http” or the secured “https.”
Example of a secured site’s URL:
Example of an unsecured site’s URL:
It’s most likely that you are using your website to collect valuable data—that’s anything from an email address to credit card information. Without SSL, this exchange of data is vulnerable and could be compromised, risking the privacy of you and your clients. And without the indication in the web browser that your site has an SSL certificate, most potential customers will click away from the site.
Why SSL Is Important
According to HubSpot, 82% of visitors will click away from a website if the browser indicates that it’s not secure. Browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox have made it extremely easy for visitors to see if a site isn’t protected by an SSL. Even visitors who are not familiar with SSL, or what it does, will know when it’s missing. On Google Chrome, a red padlock with a line through it appears in front of the URL along with a notification that the site is not secure. Other sites with an unsecured “http” connection may even be blacklisted by Google. These sites won’t even open without first bringing you to a warning page that informs you that your information may be at risk of phishing. Warnings like this will scare away your potential customers, reducing your conversions and severely harming your brand identity.
Example of blacklisted site:
Google and other search engines take unsecured sites very seriously. As a result, sites with SSL certificates are rewarded with higher search engine rankings. This means that your SEO tactics will pack more of a punch when paired with an SSL.
Customers feel safe browsing secure sites and will be more willing to sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase. Purchasing, activating and installing an SSL certificate is one of the simplest ways to create an initial foundation of trust with your clients, a foundation that you can build on as they browse your beautiful site and learn more about your brand and story.
SSL and Cybersecurity
Protecting your clients’ data with an SSL certificate is just the first step in your cybersecurity plan. It’s important to know that while having an SSL certification will protect your customers’ data, it does not make your site hack-proof. To learn more about how to further protect your brand and to see the powerful suite of Cybersecurity Services Fortress has to offer, visit our cyber page.