8 October, 2020

The main advantages of using an SSL certificate on your website

Ever wonder why some websites have a padlock while others have a red “Not Secure” warning? The difference is in the type of connection that each of these websites establishes with its backend web server. Those with the security warnings use an insecure and unencrypted channel and those with the small padlock in the address bar use an SSL certificate to establish an encrypted communication channel while talking to their corresponding server.

There are several benefits to protecting your communication channel, especially if you collect personal data, user codes or any other confidential information.

Encrypt sensitive data and avoid data manipulation

Encryption refers to encoding data after passing it through an encryption algorithm. This garbled data (also known as ciphertext), in an unreadable form, is transmitted to the web server. Even if an attacker is listening to the connection, they will not be able to understand the data without its corresponding decryption key. In addition to ensuring the confidentiality of the conversation between the client’s browser and the server, encryption also preserves the integrity of the message by preventing data manipulation.

Build trust in your online customers

Having a website that displays a security warning can not only lower your conversion rates, but your brand reputation can also suffer. By installing an SSL / TLS certificate, you eliminate warning messages and can take advantage of other visual indicators of trust such as the padlock symbol in the address bar and the secure site seal. This communicates that you care about the security needs of your customers and increases the credibility of your business and the reputation of your brand.

Improve your Google ranking to increase your site traffic

HTTPS has been used as a ranking ranking factor since 2014. Using a digital certificate will help you gain visibility on Google, which will drive more traffic to your page. Don’t expect a significant impact because most websites already use HTTPS. Without an ssl certificate your positions are expected to drop.

Authenticate the identity of your website.

How can you be sure that the website you are communicating with is genuine and not just posing as another legitimate site? Identity verification is a prominent aspect of using an SSL certificate. These certificates are issued by a CA (certifying authority) that, depending on the level of validation of your SSL certificate, will perform a verification of your business identity. There are three levels of validation: domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), and extended validation (EV). Of the three, EV certificates have the most extensive verification process, while DV certificates undergo the least rigorous validation. You can view this information by clicking the lock and viewing the certificate details.

Meet PCI DSS requirements

Depending on the country where your company is registered and the type of data it collects, stores, processes or transmits, the installation of an SSL may be a mandatory compliance requirement, especially if you process card payments. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) recommends using TLS 1.2 or TLS 1.3 to protect cardholder data in transit.

Finally, we want to reflect on whether to opt for a paid SSL certificate from a trusted CA or a free one from an authority like Let’s Encrypt. Both options offer encryption, but the free SSL certificates have no warranty or customer support. In addition, they have a validity period of 90 days (even with automatic renewals they can have errors), they offer only domain validation certificates. These certificates have zero cost, that is a great benefit, particularly if the alternative is to do without any type of encryption. However, if cost isn’t the only factor, consider looking at other options that come with the benefits of customer support, warranty, and site seals, to name a few.