Why do you need SSL? What is the purpose of having an SSL certificate? Is having an SSL certificate that important?
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:
- Encryption of information
- Provide authentication
- Protect against phishing
- 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.
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?
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.
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