Your website’s cybersecurity is a non-negotiable requirement. This is true for the sole purpose of keeping your data and that of your customers safe. However, security gives your company a professional and trustworthy appearance. When a website takes security seriously by using HTTPS and installing an SSL certificate, Chrome displays a padlock to indicate that the connection is secure. HTTPS is a critical component of a secure internet experience. It demonstrates to your customers that you are committed to the security and that you value their data and want to keep it private. Customers will be turned off by an insecure website, and it will hurt your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking in relevant searches.
When a user visits an unsafe website, Google Chrome warns them about it. The statement “Not secure” will appear before the domain name in the address bar, alerting users that their personal information is at risk of being stolen.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, keeping all data transmitted between them private. It’s no longer just for e-commerce stores or transactional websites, thanks to Google’s push to make all websites secure and publicly indicate whether they’re secure or not. The certificate allows your site to load with the https prefix and display the little green padlock, which protects and reassures your website visitors.
Historically, SSL certificates were issued by “trusted authorities,” which required manual verification of a company, which was expensive and time-consuming until recently. You may have noticed logos for companies like Verisign and Symantec at the checkout when shopping online, which larger online stores display as proof of their security and trustworthiness. However, with Google’s new push, most hosting companies are now offering free or low-cost basic SSL certificates, which will secure your website.
Which SSL Certificate is right for me?
There are three types of SSL Certificates to choose from, and which one is right for you depends on the nature of your business (do you sell anything through your website) and the nature of your audience (are they wary of online shopping or quick to trust)? You can hear me explain why I’m using Let’s Encrypt, a free and simple option, for my own e-commerce websites in the video below. However, for the sake of completeness, here are the three options available to you.
(DV) Domain Validated Certificate – Verified that you own your domain name by checking with the domain registry. Usually, your hosting company provides this service for free or at a low cost.
(OV) Organization Validated Certificate – Checked against business registries by a real person. Some insurance coverage is included in the event of online fraud or data theft.
(EV) Extended Validation Certificate – The most stringent option. There are checks on the details. The green business name bar is triggered. More insurance coverage is included.
It’s worth noting that all three options provide the same level of security and function in the same way.
The Process of Using HTTPS and SSL
Before you can learn how to add HTTPS to your domain, you must first understand the fundamentals. HTTPS and SSL, in simple terms, provide security for your website. They aid in the protection of your connection, ensuring that data sent between your browser and the web server is secure.
The Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS
The HTTP at the beginning of a website address (URL) is often overlooked, but it is a critical component of the World Wide Web. The HTTP protocol, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is used to load web pages via hypertext links.
When you use HTTP, all of your data is sent in plain text. A hacker could easily steal sensitive information such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers if they were to listen in on the conversation between your browser and the server.
HTTPS (Secure HTTP) encrypts the data. Hackers can still listen in on browser-server conversations, but the data isn’t readable because the hacker doesn’t have the key to decipher it.
You’ll need to install an SSL certificate to create a secure connection.
What are SSL and TLS?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an authentication protocol that encrypts data sent between the client and the server.
When a browser sends a request to a server, the SSL certificate validation is checked first. The browser encrypts the data it needs to send using the public key from the website if the certificate is valid.
The data is decrypted using the public key and the server’s private key when it returns to the server. Following that data exchange, both locations will be able to communicate in a secure manner.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) was introduced in 1999 as a new protocol for working with SSL that was more secure. The two are frequently referred to as SSL/TLS.
While it may appear complicated, the procedure is essentially a secure data transfer over the internet.
Why You Need to Use HTTPS
For any eCommerce website, HTTPS is a must. Customers want to know that if they check out on your website, their information will be kept private.
If you run a blog or another website that doesn’t sell anything, you might think you don’t need to learn how to add HTTPS to your domain. HTTPS, on the other hand, can benefit any website.
Customers are concerned when a website displays “not secure” in the address bar. They won’t feel safe visiting your site, and you’ll come across as unprofessional. Customers may feel unsafe and avoid your website even if you do not exchange any data.
HTTPS isn’t just for security; it can also hurt your SEO efforts. In its ranking algorithm, Google considers HTTPS. To get your website ranked by search engines, it’s in your best interest to use HTTPS protocols.
How to use your Hosting Company to Install the free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate
Many hosting companies are offering the new Let’s Encrypt open source certificate project, which is backed by major players like WordPress.com and Facebook. All of this talk of encryption and certificates may seem intimidating, but Let’s Encrypt makes installing a certificate a breeze with just a few clicks. It’s easy to do yourself if you follow three simple steps. For a step-by-step walkthrough, watch the video.
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