Today, we rely on the internet for just about everything. From buying to selling and everything in between, online security has become a necessity. That is why Google is implementing a requirement for SSL Certificates starting January 2017.
So what does this mean for your site? Basically, if your run an e-commerce website and/or your site requires a password to log in AND your users visit your site using Google Chrome, then this new requirement will affect you directly. Starting in January, Google will start displaying a large, clear warning that your site is not secure if it does not have an SSL certificate. This is likely to turn visitors and potential customers away from sites that lack the secure “https” in the web address.
Google has always worked tirelessly to make their users feel secure on the internet and this is just one more example of the steps they will take to ensure security. It is projected that Google will flag roughly 2/3 of all websites with a “Not Secure” in the URL bar.
What is an SSL Certificate? How Does It Work?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and provides secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages that require users to enter sensitive information such as credit card information, social security numbers, usernames and passwords.
Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate?
Data transferred in plain-text form or in non-encrypted format can be intercepted, eavesdropped, compromised and stolen. Cybercriminals who intercept unencrypted communications will gain full access to this data and can use it for fraudulent purchases and activities.
SSL certificates are what make a website trusted and what make people feel comfortable enough to provide private, sensitive information online. Businesses must use an SSL certificate to secure their site if they wish to accept payments online or expect their visitors to submit confidential information.
SSL certificates will also help with SEO efforts now that Google is providing a rankings boost for pages that are served over https.
Here are some of the reasons to have an SSL Certificate installed:
1. Encrypts Sensitive Information
The primary benefit of SSL certification is encrypting sensitive data that has been transmitted online so that only the intended recipient will understand the information. Encryption is one of the surest ways to guard against hackers and identity thieves.
Cybercriminals are clever and cause billions of dollarís worth of damage annually. Without an SSL certificate, you are fighting a losing battle against this rising problem.
2. Secure Site Seal Helps Increase Conversions
Many studies have shown that a website with a security seal benefits from higher conversion rates and a lack of security will scare visitors away. Savvy customers will abandon a purchase due to a missing security icon.
3. Builds Trust & Brand Power
With SSL certificates, your visitors will see the padlock icon and green address bar that is known to indicate that encryption is in use and that their information is safe. These visual cues increase trust in your website and prove that you are a legitimate organization.
4. Improve Your Website’s SEO
Google has attempted to convince website owners to boost security by making HTTPS a ranking factor for their search results. Google Chrome now marks sites that do not have HTTPS as non-secure to warn visitors and ranks them lower as a result.
Your website security needs to be a top priority if you want to increase your online visibility. One of the best ways to boost your site’s security and trust is with an SSL certificate.
About The Author: Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts is the founder of Raincross, a premier web design, development and digital marketing agency headquartered in Riverside, CA.
Kevin got his start in online marketing and website design by working for some of the most prominent names in online retail. He's most recognized for helping to start e-commerce retailer Organize.com in 1998, and spent 12 years running the company's e-commerce and online marketing operations. He has been recognized and has received several online retail, marketing and merchandising awards throughout his career.
Kevin grew up in Riverside, CA and graduated from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, Kevin is an avid fly-fisherman, college football fan, and enjoys spending time with his son Matthew, daughter Kate and wife Lindsey.
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