- Nov 09, 2021
- by A2 Security Team
Having a website is one of the most cost-savvy strategies to reach massive audiences. However, with cybercriminals lurking around the interweb, it’s essential to invest in website security. Not taking this process seriously can lead to record-breaking financial losses, lawsuits, and a tarnished brand reputation.
We recommend security certificates for any websites that collect sensitive information like names, addresses, and credit card numbers. One example of this certificate is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Apart from keeping consumers safe, search engine giant Google declared SSL’s as a ranking factor in 2014. Naturally, other search engines followed suit.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about having a security certificate on your site — what it is, why you should get one, and how to keep your customers safe. Let’s get right to it.
What Is an SSL?
Until 1999, SSL was the gold standard in internet communications. SSL is a type of technology that keeps internet connections safe. It protects the transfer of sensitive data between two systems by preventing cybercriminals from modifying any information. SSLs make it impossible for hackers to read users’ information during transfer with the help of encryption algorithms that jumble data in transit. These systems can be server-to-client like an e-commerce site and a customer or server-to-server like a cloud to a printer server.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is an online verification authenticating a site’s identity, allowing a coded connection between a web server and a web browser. Companies should add such a certificate to their sites to protect customer information.
Developers install these certificates server-side, but visitors will see visual cues that indicate site security. Take note of these signs:
- A website with an HTTPS address instead of HTTP has an SSL certificate.
- Check out the padlock before a website name. If you click on it, you will see this message: Connection is secure. This sign means a company guarantees that no one can intercept or modify the link between the sites. If it is not a secure site, you will see a warning symbol before the address.
- Your antivirus will prevent you from entering an unsecured site. Most of the time, your software sends red flags for websites with no SSL certificates, or expired ones.
- Brands will not likely misspell their domain name. If you notice grammatical errors, it’s probably a scam attempt. For instance, cybercriminals might attempt to steal data from amaz0n.com if they can breach the platform’s security protocols.
Reasons To Get an SSL Certificate
Having a security certificate for website use has taken the digital world by storm. According to recent SSL statistics, an impressive 82.2% of websites use valid certificates — a colossal leap from only 17.8% five years ago.
From being an additional layer of consumer protection, it has become a must-have for most site owners. Businesses of all sizes and industries will benefit from this certification. Below are some reasons why you should have one.
Ensure Visitor Protection
By providing websites with unbreakable encryption, SSL certificates ensure the safety of all site visitors. Without one, hackers can easily target customers’ sensitive data. They eliminate various threats, including man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing, and session hijacking.
Promote Subdomain Security
An SSL certificate called Wildcard enables site owners to secure their main site and all subdomains under it with one certification. This feature would greatly benefit organizations using multiple subdomains, eliminating the need to install separate certificates per site.
Certificate authorities (CA) sign and issue online certificates, including SSL. Through their signatures, other relying parties can verify a site’s credentials. Some of their tasks include domain and business verification, giving site visitors the confidence to navigate and interact with your platform.
Comply With PCI Requirements
Sites that process credit card payment should comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. The organization aims to elevate the standards for cardholders worldwide and has declared an SSL certificate a necessity for business websites. Non-compliance on your part may lead to lawsuits, unnecessary penalties, and revenue loss.
Boost SEO Efforts
Like any business, Google wants the best for its clients. For this reason, the company decided to make SSL certification a ranking factor. To increase your online visibility and stand out against uncertified competitors, we recommend getting an SSL certificate.
Speed Up Your Website
Contrary to popular belief, SSL certificates don’t slow websites down but speed them up. Recent technologies gave rise to web servers called HTTP2 that use single connections instead of multiple parallel ones.
Your page load speed should be anywhere between one to two seconds. If it reaches three seconds, 53% of your site visitors will leave. As page load speed is also a Google ranking factor, this feature further boosts your search engine visibility.
Pro tip: A reliable hosting solution can do wonders for your site speed.
Strengthen Brand Image
Few things in life can ruin a brand image faster than a company that doesn’t care about its clients’ safety. While SSL certificates cannot shield sites against all cyber attacks, they protect your customers’ names, addresses, and card information. If you plan on inspiring consumer trust, keep it professional by using an HTTPS site. Strengthen your brand image now with high-security standards.
How To Get an SSL Certificate
You can obtain an SSL through your hosting company! These are the SSL certificates we offer at A2 Hosting:
- Free SSL: Our plans come with free SSL certificates that offer basic website protection, allowing you to establish HTTPS on your websites. While they are just as secure as paid services, many of our clients go for the latter to enjoy benefits like warranties, extended validations (EV), and organization validations (OV).
- Basic SSL: Our Domain Validated (DV) certificates offer a practical solution for industry-standard security up to 256-bit encryption. We can complete this process via email, as long as you prove your domain ownership. These are the most affordable SSL types anywhere in the world.
- Premium SSL: With our OV certificates, you can get up to 256-bit encryption for your site. The verification process for this SSL type is more tedious than applying for a DV certificate. However, you get to enjoy more perks like third-party vouching and a trust badge for your site.
- Advanced SSL: EV certificates offer the highest level of trust and security for consumers — a feature that helps boost sales. If you want a top-of-the-line security option for your enterprise-level or multiple sites, EV certificates are ideal for you. With these certifications, you can enjoy the most recognizable trust indicators.
- Wildcard: This SSL type protects a domain and an unlimited number of subdomains with one certificate. They work like other SSL certificates do, using the same encryption and validation processes. Additionally, you can upgrade your Wildcard SSL to include domain authentication and organizational validation.
Activating SSL certificates offers an extensive range of benefits for your website. The best part is, there are now many options to choose from. Don’t miss out on the HTTPS revolution to enjoy all the advantages that these certifications bring.
Secure Your Site Now
From visitor protection to domain security to being PCI DSS-compliant, a security certificate for website use is one of the most convenient ways to take your business to new heights. It’s one of the best investments you can make to stand out in a sea of competition.
At A2 Hosting, we help clients level up their sites through award-winning hosting and SSL services. Are you ready to boost your digital leads, conversions, and revenues? Get in touch with our guru crew now to begin your journey toward growth.