Why Do You Need SSL?

By | January 15, 2017
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Why do you need SSL? What is the purpose of having an SSL certificate? Is having an SSL certificate that important?https image
 

First it is important to know what SSL means. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and is a sub-layer of “https.” Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The latest version of SSL, version 3.1, is now known as TLS (Transport Layer Secure) version 1.0.
 

Basically, what it all means is that the data your browser exchanges with the website is encrypted.
 

Five Reasons You Need SSL

There are five very important reasons for having an SSL certificate:

  1. Encryption of information
  2. eCommerce
  3. Provide authentication
  4. Protect against phishing
  5. Establish and maintain trust

 

Why Do You Need SSL – Encryption Of Information

One of the purposes of the SSL Certificate is data encryption. Encryption allows information to be restricted to the intended parties: the browser and the server. Encryption prevents unauthorized eavesdropping or, as it is sometimes referred to in the network world, sniffing.
 

If you have forms that need to be completed and those forms contain sensitive or personal information, encryption protects that information and keeps it secure. Some forms that come to mind are newsletter sign up, membership sign up, or any other form requiring personal information.
 

Why Do You Need SSL – To Engage in eCommerce

Another purpose of the SSL Certificate is facilitate eCommerce. If you are going to get into eCommerce on the web, you will have to have SSL to accept credit card payments.
 

There is a security standard known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS, or simply PCI). It is a standard that handles credit cards from the major players in the credit card industry.
 

The SSL Certificate is required for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. You simply cannot take credit card payments without it.
 

Most people buying over the internet are conscious of the fact that they are dealing with a secure website. Personally, I will not provide personal information or credit card information to a website that does not indicate to me that it is secure! If you don’t practice that, I strongly recommend that you do!
 

Why Do You Need SSL – Authentication

Encryption and the SSL Certificate provide authentication between your browser and the server that you are communicating with. The two entities, browser and server, are basically proving to each other that they are who they say they are.
 

The scenario you do not want is have intentions of doing business with server A when in reality you are communicating with server B.
 

Authentication provides assurance that you are trustworthy and likewise, the server you are interacting with is trustworthy to you and your browser. If you remember, trustworthiness is one of those things we work on to improve our SEO. It’s our reputation and the browser/server represent us in that regard.
 

Why Do You Need SSL – Protection From Phishing

Remember from Internet Scams how phishing comes in the form of emails and users that attempt to steal our personal information by sending us to phony websites that pose as legitimate websites. The websites look real enough and they usually mimic the real thing.
 

Phishing emails come in the form of shipping confirmations for things we didn’t order or requests to verify that you did not, in fact, authorize the withdrawal of all of your life savings. Just provide them with the account information and they will verify it for you.
 

Right.
 

Phishing sites will most likely not be secured. That’s why we watch for the HTTPS and green padlock in the URL Address Bar of our browsers. It is most likely that they will NOT be able to obtain the necessary SSL certificate(s). Just remember: if in doubt, don’t.
 

Why Do You Need SSL – Establish And Maintain Trust

One of your most important jobs is establishing and maintaining trust with your customers. Let’s face it. If they don’t trust you, they won’t be doing business with you.
 

Obtaining a SSL Certificate is a token of trustworthiness and lets your customers know that they can trust you with their personal information, their payment method(s), payment history, and other sensitive information.
 

It’s like knowing that you just bought that automobile from a trusted and licensed dealer and not from some scam artist wearing a top coat lined with stolen watches.
 

And if you are conveying the message that the personal information of your customer is safe and secure in your hands, that doing business with you is something they can put stock in, then you have mostly likely established a trusted business relationship with that customer’s entire business network.
 

Is having an SSL certificate that important?

Yes!
 

Here’s what I want you to do!


Wealthy Affiliate recently began offering free SSL to Premium members! That’s free! It’s included in Premium membership which did NOT increase in price. The cost of SSL Certificates has been a stumbling block for many.
 

Increased competition and the arrival of SSL providers like Let’sEncrypt has made SSL an affordable option. By the way, Let’sEncrypt provides the SSL Certificates used by Wealthy Affiliate.
 

Starter membership in Wealthy Affiliate is still free and still comes with two free websites (view membership comparisons here) but the SiteRubix websites that you get with the Starter membership do not come with SSL! Free SSL is available only to Premium members owning their own domains through Wealthy Affiliate hosted by Wealthy Affiliate.
 

Click here to join Wealthy Affiliate for free!
 

If you are already a Wealthy Affiliate member but not yet Premium, you can upgrade to Premium membership. Right from this page! If you’re not a Wealthy Affiliate member, you can join at the Premium level here.
 

And as always, if you need any help or need questions answered, feel free to contact me at my Wealthy Affiliate profile or leave me a Comment below!
 

Tell me what you think about this new offering from Wealthy Affiliate? Do you know of any other affiliate programs offering free SSL? I’d like to hear about them! Leave a comment below!
 

Until next time, I am

Your friend,
MyCaricature-Circled
Mike

8 thoughts on “Why Do You Need SSL?

  1. Ryan

    Even as a premium member at Wealth Affiliate, I had no Idea what exactly we got with the new addition of SSL. But after reading this article I found myself diving trying to make sure I had my website covered.
    Trust and security are one of the biggest factors in todays modern online market, so are there other things to do, and make sure you have, in order to keep your website a safe place for users?

    Reply
    1. Mike

      You are right, Ryan. Trust and security are BIG factors. The use of SSL, particularly with Wealthy Affiliate, is that it is very simple!

      Installing SSL with Weatlhy Affiliate is a snap. You just go to “Websites and Hosting,” find your site and flip the SitePlus toggle to “on.” Takes about 5-10 seconds after that. Of course, you’ll also want to verify that each page goes secure when you view it. The last thing is to add your https site to the Google Webmaster Tools so that your secure site gets indexed from now on instead of the http site. I probably need to write a blog on this part, too, do you think?

      I have also been interested lately in hijacking (where someone changes your page and affiliate id before posting to the affiliate host and laying claim to the commission). SSL is supposed to guard against that since a scammer’s page would not likely have the SSL Certificate to verify and make a change. SSL is all about keeping your “conversations” private – no eavesdropping.

      Hope this helps, Ryan! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Mike

      Reply
  2. Darren

    Thanks for this very informative article on what SSL is and why we need to implement it into our websites. I’ve been looking into this of late but was afraid that the implementation of SSL into my sites would cause major headaches. It sounds like it is definitely worth doing though, for security and for search engine rankings.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      You’re very welcome, Darren! And it is definitely worth it for both security and rankings.

      Installing SSL with Weatlhy Affiliate is a snap. Premium membership is required, but after that you just go to “Websites and Hosting,” find your site and flip the SitePlus toggle to “on.” Takes about 5-10 seconds after that. Of course, you’ll also want to verify that each page goes secure when you view it. The last thing is to add your https site to the Google Webmaster Tools so that your secure site gets indexed from now on instead of the http site. I probably need to write a blog on this part, too, do you think?

      Wish you the best, Darren, and I’d say “go for it!”

      Mike

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    I have heard about SSL for a while now but never really thought about its implication. I run an affiliate blog which I just refer customers to merchant’s site. I don’t take any payment details from readers. My WordPress plugins are pretty efficient in warding off spams.

    Do I still need to install SSL on my site? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Hi Cathy! Thanks for writing. Including SSL would serve as a trust-builder – your readers and/or customers would be assured that all of your communications are confidential. I have also been interested lately in hijacking (where someone changes your page and affiliate id before posting to the affiliate host and laying claim to the commission). SSL is supposed to guard against that since a scammer’s page would not likely have the SSL Certificate to verify and make a change.

      Installing SSL with Weatlhy Affiliate is a snap. Premium membership is required, but after that you just go to “Websites and Hosting,” find your site and flip the SitePlus toggle to “on.” Takes about 5-10 seconds after that. Of course, you’ll also want to verify that each page goes secure when you view it. The last thing is to add your https site to the Google Webmaster Tools so that your secure site gets indexed from now on instead of the http site. I probably need to write a blog on this part, too, do you think?

      Hope this helps and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Best of the best to you!

      Mike

      Reply
  4. Joseph Mo

    Hey There
    Thanks for sharing this information I was really green about SSL and didnt bother looking it up till I stumbled on to your site.
    I have a website of my own and this is really helpful.
    Having this can indeed create trust among my online visitors and I could safeguard my site against any unknown threats.
    Thanks again!

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Mike

      You’re very welcome, Joseph! Glad I could provide some insight! I’m happy that they installed it. Every little thing helps!

      And thank you for stopping in and giving me a shout.

      Mike

      Reply

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