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Beginners guide to SSL and HTTPS

Feb 5th 2018

Ever wondered how SSL and HTTPS affects your website? We’ve got you covered.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Put simply, SSL is small data files digitally binded to form an encrypted connection. With the internet being used for everything these days, SSL is the foundation of safe usage and ensures that delicate data will be protected. Begin to build trust with visitors of your website and those all important potential customers by showing that you value their safety. Using SSL will protect their information and ensure smooth, secure transactions at all times.

Why do I need it?

Although typically used to protect secure transactions such as credit cards, data transfer and logins, it has recently become popular with social media and site browsing. When using a website without an SSL Certification, data that is sent from PC to PC can be intercepted and personal information, which you wouldn’t want getting into the wrong hands, can be accessed.

When an SSL Certification is activated, data sent from PC to PC is scrambled, making it unreadable to anyone apart from the server that you are sending data to. Thus shielding it from programmers and potential hackers!

How will my customers know that I am using SSL?

Your HTTP application protocol will also change to HTTPS, with the S standing for secure. Google Chrome will also have either Secure or Not Secure displayed as shown below.

SSL certifications are displayed differently depending on what browser you’re surfing on and what type of certification you have. For example, web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome, all display either a padlock or green bar in the browser when visiting a website. This indicates that a SSL certificate has been installed.

For E-commerce sites, a badge is displayed on the web page which indicates that it is secure. It’s also worth noting that in regards to SEO, your site could potentially be ranked higher if Google views it as being safe. For more information on how Google view SSL and HTTPS, have a read of one of our previous posts here.

SSL is also required for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI). To acknowledge Mastercard data on your website, you should pass certain reviews that demonstrate that your are conforming to the PCI benchmarks. One of the prerequisites is appropriately utilising an SSL Certificate. Want to learn more about PCI? We’ve got it covered on this blog post.

Overall, the major benefits of an SSL certification are that your customers personal information, such as credit card numbers, will be protected from being intercepted. Your customers will be more likely to put their trust in you and complete online transactions!

If you have any further questions or would like assistance in adding an SSL certificate to your website, please call us on 01727 739812 or email us at hello@fl1digital.