Website hack is a major headache for any website owner–but the fact remains that everybody on the internet is a target. In fact, after every 39 seconds, a website attack is launched.
What’s more shocking is that the cybercriminals steal an average of 158,727 records per hour.
Now, it is difficult to prevent data from being stolen or misused once an attack has been launched on your website, but at least you can do something to avoid that. Talk of password hygiene and installing antivirus software, etc., there’s quite a handful of reliable options you can turn to arrest data breach attempts.
One option that you should never forget however is having a valid SSL certificate correctly installed on your website. Installing one will cost you a few bucks but guarantee you foolproof security of your website.
If you have more than one website and you wish to secure all of them with SSL Certificates, it isn’t a wise idea from a financial point of view buying several single Certificates for each domain.
In this case, the best move would be to go with Wildcard SSL Certificate. The Wildcard SSL Certificate will help you secure your base domain plus unlimited sub-domains, thus eliminating for you the need to purchase many single domain certificates.
How Does SSL Certificate Improve a Website’s Data Security?
To understand better how this security file will improve your website’s data security, it’s essential to know first what it is and, most importantly, how it works.
What’s the Meaning of SSL, and how does it Work?
The initials S.S.L. stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificates are, therefore, small data files that are designed to enhance your website security by encrypting all the information shared on the website. This encryption is essential in ensuring that no unauthorized third party can view or snoop over the information shared through your website.
When you install an SSL Certificate correctly, it will activate a padlock icon on your browser. Besides, it will also make you switch from HTTP to HTTPS automatically. Your website users can know that your website is safe by checking the site/HTTPS information on your website from the URL parameters.
Moreover, most Certificate Authorities (CAs) also offer you trust badges to place on your website to confirm its safety.
Here is How an SSL Certificate Works to Ensure Website Data Security
When initiating a connection, your user’s server/browser will try to connect to your website server. During this connection attempt, the user’s server/browser will first send a connection request to your website server to identify it.
After this, your website server will send its SSL Certificate copy to the server/browser so the browser can verify whether it trusts the SSL Certificate that’s installed on the website. If the browser/server trusts the SSL Certificate, it will send an acceptance message to the web server, which will then send back an acknowledgment that’s digitally signed to initiate a session that’s SSL encrypted.
This process is known as a TLS handshake and is usually very quick, taking place in just a matter of seconds.
Why Should I Have an SSL Certificate?
There are tons of reasons why any website owner must install these security data files on their web servers. Here’s a breakdown of the top five reasons why you should install a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate.
- It boosts customer confidence when shopping on your website. Now, if you don’t have SSL certificate installed, Google will warn your web users that the site is unsafe and advise them not to submit any private data.
This is likely to increase bounce rates and cart abandonment rate, something which can be costly to you in the long run. Besides, SSL certificate also comes with trust indicators to show your customers that you value their security.
- It helps you switch to HTTPS that Google favors in terms of search engine rankings. In the effort to offer the best user experience, Google decided to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. From the original statement, Google suggested that it will affect ranking significantly, but a recent study showed that HTTPS websites rank higher than the HTTP websites.
With the rise of HTTPS, it is believed that HTTP website won’t be indexed in the future.
- It ensures a safer web environment for your customers. Your customers need a peace of mind when browsing or purchasing goods or services from your website. With this certificate, your customers will never scare of sharing their confidential data on your site like login details because they know that the data is in safe hands.
- It also helps you safeguard your internal data as well as customers’ data. The encryption that comes with SSL certificates is so secure that nobody can ‘sniff’ on and steal the internal data stored in your website database.
- Your website needs to become PCI compliant. Being PCI compliant is a rather obvious point, but it deserves mention. According to the PCI requirements, HTTPS is a must-have.
How Can I Get a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate?
Getting an SSL Certificate isn’t a complicated process; but still, it will take you some time if you want high validation certificates like Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL Certificate) or Organization Validated (OV SSL Certificate) etc. You’ll have to go through some verification that’s done by a trusted third party i.e., Certificate Authority, before getting the certificate.
The certificate will come with its root and intermediate files etc. that you’ll need to install it correctly. To install SSL, a dedicated I.P. address for your website would add value.
If you wish to install the certificate but you’re not so familiar with technical website aspects, it’s essential to ask your SSL provider to install the certificate for you. If you’re a tech geek, though, go ahead and install the certificate on your server.
Website hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable websites, and to stay ahead of them, you must be smart. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Switch to HTTPS protocol and give your users a peace of mind.
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