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Date: 2018.8.14        Author: WebDo

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Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate?

Keeping a website and its information secure is a challenge for any website owner. As activity on the internet increases, so does the threat of information theft by malicious parties. If you are running an e-commerce site or any type of site where you collect user information, such as a membership-based site, then an SSL certificate is something that you can use to secure data and offer your users peace of mind.

SSL certificates are used in various industries to secure payments and credit card transactions and protect any data in transit (such as personal information and login details). Any business that cares about security should not be without one.

If you already have a site on WebDo or if you are in the process of creating one, then you can use this simple advice to determine whether you need an SSL certificate.

Do You Sell Products or Services?

If you’ve implemented any kind of payment gateway where you accept credit card payments directly on your website, then you will definitely need an SSL certificate to protect the data that is in transit. SSL will encrypt the information so that it is protected from third parties when it is being transferred between a user’s web browser and your server.

You don’t need to have an SSL certificate on every page of your site, but it does need to be present at the checkout, and it can add an extra layer of security on your product pages.

There is an exception to this rule, depending on how you handle your payments. If you are using a service such as PayPal to handle your payments, then you won’t need to worry about using your own SSL certificate. PayPal and similar payment platforms take the user’s information outside of your website, and the data is already secured with proprietary technologies as well as standard SSL certificates.

Do You Use Memberships or Request Personal Information from Your Users?

If you have a site where memberships are offered, or if you collect personal data of any kind, then it is industry best practice to use an SSL certificate when information is entered.

Think about all the information that a user could give you. An email address, name, personal details like date of birth, addresses, and passwords, should all be secured. A user is placing trust in your site when they enter this information. Adding a security layer with an SSL certificate is an important precaution.

You wouldn’t want to be responsible for lost or leaked personal information, because this could be highly damaging to your business and your brand.

Do You Collect Data Through Automated Forms?

On WebDo you can create web forms that are easy and convenient to use. Whether you are collecting sign-up information or offering a way for customers to request a free quote, forms are a standard part of the modern web experience.

Convenience should never come at the cost of security, so you should protect the data entered on forms at all times.

Forms can be used in other ways, such as uploading files. Take for example a business that creates customized clothing, where user designs are uploaded for transfer onto physical materials. An SSL certificate and encrypted transfer will ensure that these uploads cannot be intercepted. Similar scenarios could be created for virtually any business in existence.

Document uploads, photos, and file uploads should also be protected by encryption and an SSL certificate that lets the user know you are invested in their security.

Are There Situations Where You Don’t Need SSL?

SSL certificates are necessary for several specific scenarios. Of course, they won’t be required always. If you don’t collect information, if your e-commerce transactions are handled on an external platform, or if the information you collect is not personally identifiable, then you probably won’t need to worry about SSL certificates.

How do Will Users know That Your Site is Secure?

Most users are familiar with the HTTPS protocol that indicates that a website has been secured by an SSL certificate.

Addresses such as https://help.webdo.com/wordbricks/create-an-ssl-certificate_695.html are clear indicators that an SSL certificate is being used. Browsers like Google Chrome will also display a secure padlock icon and text next to the web address, indicating that a site has been secured. In some browsers, the entire address bar will turn green to indicate that an SSL certificate is being used to encrypt any information that is transferred between the browser and the web server.

One Hidden Benefit to Using SSL Certificates

Security is the obvious benefit of using an SSL certificate on your website, but there are other tertiary benefits that could improve your business results.

Some website owners will experience a lower bounce rate (users that quickly leave a site after arriving) when an SSL certificate is implemented. Although there isn’t a lot of data on why this happens, the logical interpretation is that the bounce rate decreases because users place more trust in secure sites.

Using an SSL certificate could also reduce customer service inquiries from concerned users who want to know how their data is protected. A growing number of internet users are becoming aware of internet security needs and understand that SSL secured sites are safer. If such a user notices that your site is not secure, then they are likely to ask why.

Protect Your Users and Your Reputation

At the end of the day, securing parts of your site with an SSL certificate will influence trust and provide a better experience for your users. If you regularly transfer any kind of data that needs protection, then an SSL certificate is something that you need to implement on your site today.

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