What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and it is a security tool used to protect data being sent between computers on the internet. This encryption makes it difficult for others to intercept and read the data, such as passwords and credit card numbers. There is obviously a lot more to SSL let’s not get into all the complexities here. If you would like to get more into the technical stuff try this link –> https://www.websecurity.digicert.com/en/au/security-topics/what-is-ssl-tls-https
How can I tell if my website uses an SSL certificate?
If your website is using an SSL certificate, the address in the browser window will start with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP.” An ‘S’ is appended to ‘HTTP’ to indicate the use of SSL. An additional green lock may also appear to show that all data sent and received on this site is encrypted. You can check if you have a valid certificate by looking at what was written after ‘Secure’ – for example Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). If there are no letters following it then your website does not use an SSL Certificate.
On the Chrome browser if you click on the padlock on the left side of the address bar it will tell you if an SSL certificate is in use or not as show in the screenshot below.
Can I use the same certificate on all my subdomains?
Yes, you can use the same SSL certificate on all of your subdomains with a primary domain. You can use wildcard SSL certificates for multiple subdomains with the same certificate. For example, *.exampledomain.com or subdomain*.exampledomain.com will be valid for the same SSL certificate.
Why should you use an SSL certificate on your site?
There are many reasons to incorporate security measures into your website design in order to protect sensitive information like user IDs, passwords, bank account details etc., but here are five of them which we feel deserve attention.
1) Protection from hackers
SSL certificates also protect your website from being hacked. This is because, with an SSL certificate in place, the data can’t be seen by others while it’s being transferred from your server to a customer’s browser. This way, in the event that a hacker was to try and intercept your data during transmission, they would not be able to read it since an SSL certificate protects against eavesdropping – though this doesn’t protect you from man-in-the-middle attacks.
In addition to protecting your website from hackers or other malicious actors trying to spy on communications between server and client, if someone does manage to hack into your site with sensitive information like credit card numbers or passwords stored on it without an SSL certificate present, then those sensitive pieces of information won’t display as plain text when seen by the person breaking into your system because encryption is used.
Encryption and decryption are done on the webserver, which protects your data during transmission. This prevents sensitive information from being intercepted by others and ensures that the data you are receiving is authentic. So even if a third party manages to break through security measures employed at the server level, the data will still be encrypted and it won’t be displayed in plain text.
2) Search engine page ranking
You may not realize this, but search engines rank websites with SSL certificates higher than those without when it comes to Seach Engine Optimisation (SEO)! This is because search engines have a higher level of trust in websites with SSL certificates.
A boost in ranking can mean more traffic, which means you will get more leads and ultimately make more customer sales!
3) Builds trust with your customers/users
Website visitors will be more likely to trust your site and share personal information if they see an SSL certificate in place.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate on your site, then visitors will see a warning message when they visit your page. This can deter them from completing transactions and make them feel like their information is at risk should they provide it to you. A potential customer may think twice before entering in any sensitive data if the website isn’t secured with an SSL certificate.
Once it’s in place, you will have an SSL certificate that is visible to all visitors to your site – which means they’ll feel safer doing business with you!
4) Inexpensive to use
SSL certificates are inexpensive (usually under $100 each year) and easy to set up. They can be purchased from your hosting provider, and then installed onto the server. Many modern hosting plan providers offer SSL certificate purchase as a bundled service, or it can be purchased and installed separately.
5) Easy to use.
The certificate does not require you to purchase additional software (such as a firewall) or hardware to set up security for your website. Many hosting plans include the setup of an SSL certificate for you and is already bundled with your hosting plan.
In conclusion, SSL certificates are essential for any website that transmits sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and more. It is not only a security measure to keep your customers’ data safe from potential hackers but also an SEO tactic that will boost the ranking of your site in search engines. If you don’t already have one set up then it’s time to take the next step in securing your website and make sure you have an SSL certificate.