Whether you are considering starting an e-commerce website, or any other site that requires sensitive customer information, or you have an existing website that utilizes customer transactions, it is important to ensure that your site is secure in order to protect valuable customer information. An SSL certificate guarantees the safety of your site by protecting information gathered during customer transactions such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, password logins and more, so your customers can interact with your site with confidence.
What does it mean?
SSL, short for Secure Lockets Layer, helps ensure that private information remains secure as it travels across the internet by encrypting the data as it moves across the web.
Why You Need SSL
When customers send private information to a website, it may go through dozens of other servers before it finally reaches its destination, which means at any point your customers information can be intercepted from any server unless it is secure. Therefore, as a website owner, you want to protect any information that could lead to financial loss, or even legal consequences, if customer information is stolen.
How SSL Protects Customers
In addition to encrypting important information during online transactions so it remains private, an SSL certificate helps increase trust in your website by identifying the certificate owner before the certificate is issued so that your customers know that you are who you say you are, which helps build site credibility.
Some sensitive information SSL protects includes:
- Financial information
- Stored or transferred data such as birth dates, social security numbers and ID’s etc.
- Medical information
- Confidential data such as contracts, legal documentation and client lists etc.
- User authentication information such as passwords and log ins etc.
With SSL, website owners can protect all sign up forms used to collect data as well as entire customer account areas for maximum security. As a rule of thumb, you want to protect any data that could lead to financial loss or legal consequences.
How Do I Get an SSL Certificate?
We can recommend a trusted SSL vendor and get you set right up. There is usually an annual fee to obtain an SSL certificate, and the SSL issuing company may need to verify your identity before a certificate is rewarded.
Once you have acquired an SSL certificate, it will need to be placed on your server in order for the secure “HTTPS” connection to work, which can usually be handled by your hosting company.
Lastly, your website will need to be configured to activate during secure transactions when applicable, such as when entering a password on your site.
Before submitting sensitive information on your site, your clients will be alerted to the security of your site by a URL address bar that begins with HTTPS, usually along with a highlighted green bar, as well as a lock icon somewhere in the address bar. Some sites may also display a “security seal” that enables customers to verify the identity of the website by clicking on the seal.
Need help getting an security installed on your site? We are here to help.