Every Online Business Has a Security Loophole – What’s Yours?
Every entrepreneur likes to think they have an excellent understanding of everything that goes on in their business. Many are correct in their thinking. However, it’s impossible to specialize in everything – there aren’t enough hours in the day after all. That’s why you outsource tasks and hire employees, and one of the first items to make it into someone else’s hands is the website. A by-product of this is that the same applies to your website’s security.
As we’ve covered extensively here on the blog, there are dozens of ways to boost security on your website. However, with so much to do, it’s easy to overlook the basics. Above anything else, if you want to make your website secure, the first step is to install an SSL certificate.
What Is SSL and How Does it Work?
SSL, or secure socket layer, is an online protocol that focuses on security. It is nothing new, with the protocol itself having launched in 1995. However, it has since become a standard and one that is impossible for any corporate website to ignore. Incidentally, for those that have been online for a while, the protocol itself was created by Netscape, one of the internet’s first generation of big names.
Netscape may no longer be with us, but the SSL protocol lives on. So, if your business site doesn’t make use of it already, it should be near the top of the to-do list.
Why You Should Have an SSL Certificate
Given that SSL has been around for as long as the mainstream internet, it’s easy to wonder why it’s now so important. Millions of sites went online without incorporating a certificate, and they did well along the way. However, it’s no exaggeration to say that it ranks comfortably among the most critical innovations in the internet’s history. If you don’t already have one on your website, here are four important reasons to change that:
1. Protect Visitors
The main job of SSL is to protect data. It does so by encrypting communications between you and your visitors, along with any third parties you use, such as payment processors. Thus, man-in-the-middle attacks or anything else that looks to snoop in on your online communications are quickly foiled by SSL protection.
2. Enjoy Better Conversions
It’s important not to underestimate the importance of the padlock in the address bar. That’s how SSL protection is shown in most browsers, and even the most tech-illiterate will know to look out for it.
Even those that don’t really understand why SSL is essential know that it means something. Most reputable sites are protected in this way. If yours isn’t, it’s going to stand out, and people will think twice before making a purchase or contacting you for further information.
Conversely, adding SSL to your site adds another layer of trust that’s likely to encourage customers to engage further. Just as many visitors want nothing to do with a site without the famous padlock, it’s another signal of security and reputation for those that are on the fence.
3. Improve Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Technically, SSL has nothing to do with search engine optimization and was never designed as such. However, such is its importance that the likes of Google and Bing now consider SSL protection as a ranking factor.
It’s difficult to argue with organic traffic, as it’s free and regular. However, even without a dedicated SEO strategy, it’s worth it to rank as high as you possibly can to maximize the number of visitors.
Adding SSL protection to a site won’t rocket it from nowhere to the top of Google, but it’s generally good for improving a couple of positions. Depending on the keywords, those positions can be worth thousands of visitors each month, making it an easy decision.
4. Peace of Mind for the Business and Customers
Even when taking the business benefits out of the equation, it’s essential to assign a value to peace of mind. Cybersecurity is perhaps the biggest challenge facing online businesses today, and a valid SSL certificate is more than just a step in the right direction.
As noted previously, customers expect to see a padlock on sites when they plan to make a purchase. If no SSL certificate is available, most browsers will warn them of the fact. It’s a red flag and can easily negatively affect traffic. Your customers consider it a standard, it’s vital to recognize this and meet their basic demands.
There’s an element of protection involved with SSL for the business itself that can make all the difference. Data breaches and payment interception are disaster scenarios for most companies, and SSLs will play a part in ensuring they don’t happen. More security layers are always better, and while a security certificate won’t keep out the most determined hackers, it’s something else for them to contend with, keeping data safe in the process.
Adding SSL to Your Website
SSL protection is so ubiquitous that it’s readily available to anyone that wants it. If you use a mainstream web host, you can deploy an up-to-date certificate in a few clicks. Even if there’s no direct support, the host’s tech team will be able to sort it out without delay.
Adding SSL to a website is so insignificant as not to be any kind of obstacle. More importantly, there are absolutely no downsides. On the contrary, adding SSL is all upside, and these certificates should be a part of any website with ambitions to grow and serve customers. Here we can help! Explore our premier hosting and cloud service offering to grow your business