Did you know that over 13 percent of all retail sales take place online? That emphasizes the enormous potential of this platform. However, e-commerce websites usually attract the unsought attention of cyber criminals. These threat actors are always on a lookout for vulnerabilities that let them break into private networks. So, there is a sheer need for website owners to focus on improving their website’s security without compromising the user experience. An easy way to fix that is by installing an SSL certificate on your website — a decision that can prove to be a game-changer.
SSL Certificates have been around for over two decades but were seldom considered to be a critical security measure. However, that notion has changed due to the increase in security breaches and website owners have begun appreciating the advantages of installing SSL certificates. Let us now look at some of the best reasons to install an SSL certificate.
Customer Data Security
Online financial frauds such as unauthorized remote banking frauds, credit card phishing have been on the rise. Several reputed firms such as CapitalOne, UniCredit, and several others have been attacked by cyber criminals. These breaches have exposed the details of millions of users. As a preventive step, several nations have introduced regulatory measures which require websites and online businesses to guard caution. This includes adopting necessary security measures required to protect customer data. So, if your website offers e-commerce or subscription-based services, then you simply cannot neglect installing an SSL certificate. Besides keeping customer data secure, it also helps minimize your liabilities in case of a security breach.
When you run your website on the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP, it encrypts all the communication between the client and the server. So, the possibility of a breach is greatly reduced when the user communicates with the server through his browser. As the communication is encrypted, it cannot be accessed without the decryption/private key.
Boosts Online Reputation
The biggest challenge faced by small and mid-sized businesses is the lack of direct interaction with prospective customers. Unlike the brick-and-mortar set ups, online stores do not have a face-to-face interaction with the sales personnel. So, website owners need to build their online reputation and put their prospective customers at ease.
To boost your online reputation, you need to begin by eliminating all the negative elements such as security warnings that make your website appear dangerous. Most browsers warn the users about lack of security when they browse through websites without an SSL certificate. So, you need an SSL certificate even before you start your PR and Advertising campaign.
While website owners spend a fortune on SEO, they tend to forget the core object of the SERPS — to deliver great user experience. So, anything and everything that takes your website a step closer to that object is of great value. Therefore, SERPs have always ranked websites with a better security than those that don’t have one. In fact, recently Google has disclosed that the SSL certificate plays a critical role in a website’s ranking.
Makes Websites Load Faster
Earlier, there was a wrong presumption that SSL certificate can slow down websites. Contrary to that belief, SSL certificates make websites load much faster because the HTTPS runs on the HTTP/2.0 protocol, which increases the page loading speed. This helps websites rank better because page loading speed is also a critical ranking factor. A good loading speed can help to retain visitors on the website.
Confirms your Identity
Unless you are a big brand launching your online store, you need to earn the trust of your prospective customers, which is anything but easy. Most online shopping enthusiasts refrain from making online payments through lesser known websites and e-commerce stores due to the hike in the number of online frauds.
To bring down cybercrime, there was a sheer need for a mechanism through which a reputed third party acknowledges and confirms the authenticity of a website. This is where certificate authorities stepped in and began issuing SSL certificates, but only after the necessary validation process.
So, SSL certificate proves the authenticity of a website and communicates the same through cues such as a padlock in the URL bar. It does not stop there, and website owners can choose different levels of validations. For example, you can use the Extended Validation SSL or the Organization Validated SSL to confirm the identity of your company.
Cost-effective Security Measure
Installing an SSL certificate on your website isn’t always expensive as there are several types that you can choose from, depending on your business requirements. For example, if you run a consulting business, then an Organization Validated SSL certificate would be appropriate. However, if you are just kick-starting your website, then you could consider the DV SSL certificate, which is the most basic and economic type of SSL certificate. Likewise, if you have an e-commerce store, the EV SSL certificate would be the best pick. So, there is an SSL certificate for every budget.
Recently, there have been some serious customer data breaches, resulting in millions of dollars being lost. However, websites that did not store the financial and sensitive information of their customers did much better. That’s because even though their security was breached, there was no serious loss. However, such measures may not always work because regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR require online businesses to protect user-related information.
Finally, an effective way to protect user-related information is by making use of strong password rules, limiting back-end access and enabling encrypted communication. Most importantly, you need to install an SSL certificate as that encrypts server-client communication and enhances the overall security of your website, which in turn helps safeguard customer data. It also makes your website reliable and helps you deliver better user experience. However, you need to pick one that is issued by a reliably certifying authority.