When it comes to website security, there can hardly be any disagreement over the fact that an SSL certificate is the most important building block for it. Without the strong foundation of this certificate, no website can build a strong and resilient system for its security. But what exactly makes it such a crucial thing for web security? How does it impact a business, and why does it do so? That’s precisely what we’re going to discover in this article. We shall see five reasons why an SSL certificate is important for a business. Let’s begin:
Understanding an SSL certificate
Before we dive into the reasons behind the importance of an SSL certificate, let’s have a quick look at what an SSL certificate is and what it does. An SSL certificate is just a piece of code installed on your webserver to give a unique identity to the server. It’s unique, which means no two businesses can have an identical certificate, and it’s also easily verifiable, so anyone can check it to validate the authenticity of the website they’re visiting. It’s issued only after proper verification of your business, so it also links the identity of your business with your domain name. It encrypts the communication that transpires between the web browser and the client-server.
With that in mind, now let’s take a look at some reasons that make this tiny piece of code significantly important for your website.
5 reasons why an SSL certificate is important for a site
Many reasons make an SSL certificate important for any business website, but we shall cover only five among them that leave the most direct and most significant impact. Here they’re:
#1. It protects your website from phishing
The first benefit of having an SSL certificate installed on your website is that it protects your site from phishing attacks. A phishing attack is when someone creates a copy of your site on a different but similar domain name and sends the site’s link to your visitors and employees. When they open the fake site and enter their confidential information (i.e., username, password, credit card information, etc.), it can be sent directly to the cybercriminal who created that site instead of your webserver.
An SSL certificate protects you from it by adding a unique green padlock to your website. That padlock can’t be acquired by someone else even if they manage to purchase an identical domain name because it’s issued only after verifying your business identity. So all fake websites created to launch a phishing attack on your customers and employees can be spotted easily by the absence of this padlock and display of the “Not Secure” label in place of it. If you’re wondering which type of certificate to choose for an expanding business, it depends upon the number of domains and subdomains. For example, if you have unlimited first level subdomains, a wildcard certificate purchased from a reliable vendor will be good enough. With this single certificate, you can secure multiple first-level subdomains under the chosen main domain. Now go ahead and install it, so your website can be secure from cyber threats. And if you still have any questions, feel free to share them in the comments, and we shall be more than happy to answer them for you.
#2. It protects your visitors from packet sniffing
Another important thing an SSL certificate does is protect your visitors from packet sniffing attacks. In this type of attack, a cybercriminal captures the data packets sent between your web server and visitor. Once those packets are captured, data being sent through them can be extracted with the help of special software. An SSL certificate prevents it from happening by encrypting the data packets before they’re exchanged between your server and your visitors. The data can be decrypted only by the intended recipient.
#3. It helps your SEO
Believe it or not, but an SSL certificate also helps the SEO of your website. That is because to enable the encryption of data packets; your SSL certificate makes your website load over HTTPS protocol instead of the default HTTP. Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal in its search algorithms, so websites that don’t load over HTTPS are ranked lower in search result pages despite all your SEO campaigns and efforts. On the other hand, if you install an SSL certificate, then all your SEO efforts will give the real results you deserve, so your site will rank higher.
#4. It enhances your brand reputation
An SSL certificate also increases the reputation of your brand. How does it do so? Well, if your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed on its server, visitors’ web browsers show a “Not Secure” label in the place of a green padlock. The purpose of that label is to suggest that the connection between their computer and your web server is not secure with encryption. However, the real effect of that label is something else – it makes your visitors perceive your whole website as not secure. Needless to say that it’s not something that can benefit your brand reputation. And that’s why an SSL certificate becomes important for your brand reputation too.
#5. It’s necessary to outperform your competition
Finally, the universal acceptance and installation of SSL certificates after Google’s push have made it necessary for all website owners from a competitive perspective. After Google started using HTTPS as a ranking signal and enabled the dreaded “Not Secure” label in its Chrome browser, website owners across the world installed SSL certificates as quickly as possible on their servers. Today it has become a norm. If you don’t follow this norm, you’ll come out as a less reliable business in your industry, and your competitors will have a clear advantage over you. To avoid it from happening, it’s important to install the SSL certificate.
So that’s why every business owner needs to install an SSL certificate on their web server. Now go ahead and install it, so your website can be secure from cyber threats. And if you still have any questions, feel free to share them in the comments, and we shall be more than happy to answer them for you.