Most business owners interested in getting SSL certificates are typically doing so as part of an ecommerce setup on their website. If you work with a payment gateway then encrypting data via SSL is a must.
To understand why an SSL certificate is beneficial you really need to understand the basics of it all. Have you noticed that some sites display a tiny lock at the top of the browser bar – such as when you’re on Facebook? With sites like this you’ll notice that the URL also displays not with HTTP:// but instead it shows HTTPS://
The addition of that “s” means the site is secured with an SSL certificate and it’s forcing your browser into a secure path.
Most SSL certificates contain the domain name, company, address, city, state, and country. The Certificate Authority, which is the company who issued the SSL, is also in there. Basically, when a browser attempts to establish a connection to the website through SSL, it will make a check to ensure the certificate is not expired, is from a trusted Certificate Authority, and is being used on the correct website. If any of these criteria are not met, your browser will warn you, and let you know this site is not a trusted source, and is not being encrypted through SSL.
What Specifically Can an SSL Certificate Do?
Email is More Secure – You can keep your email more secure with your web hosting if you’re using a POP or IMAP account via your domain (email@example.com) as opposed to a 3rd party email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Not using a free public email service can do wonders for avoiding spam and viruses, and the extra layer of security that comes with an SSL certificate lets you rest easy knowing the data you’re passing is more secure.
More Secure FTP – If you’re in a shared hosting environment, you won’t have access to SSH access, which is required to use sFTP (Secure FTP). This is for security reasons, but you can easily implement an SSL certificate to securely connect via FTP.
Website Security – Somethings are better left encrypted. Others NEED to be encrypted, like data around an online business. This includes credit card information, login information like usernames and passwords (Especially for admin sections of sites or where personal data is stored).
SSL can protect your website from being compromised. Without, all the information being passed to your website, and the info being passed to a client from the website, is moving through the internet (Servers across various companies and ISP’s). At any point, this information can be intercepted – especially if you travel and connect to important work files from unprotected or public networks.
Don’t have SSL? It’s time to consider getting web hosting that keeps your data live and an SSL certificate that keeps you and your customers secure.