Have you ever been to a website and had the warning “This Site May Not Be Secure!” pop up on your screen? If so, did you immediately leave the site?
The problem may have been that the site was running without SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a protocol that encrypts data and creates a secure connection to send data between a user and the server. How do you know if the site is secure? In the URL you’ll see “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”.
Are you running SSL on your site?
Here’s a crazy case study about how adding SSL can help a site:
In May of this year the House of Representatives voted to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell personal data collected from customers. Without SSL, a complete browsing history within a given site is collected and could potentially be sold. With SSL, the only information that an ISP can see is a domain name accessed.
After this happened, the website Pornhub almost immediately switched to an SSL default. With that, an ISP can see that their client went to the site, but not what was searched on the site, ensuring a level of privacy. According to a chart tweeted by Google’s security engineer Adrienne Porter Felt, as soon as the change to SSL happened, Pornhub saw a record number of visits to their site.
Another site that recently made the change to SSL to protect their users is The Guardian. They stated:
“By using HTTPS, internet service providers (ISPs) are not able to track the pages our readers are accessing. It means we protect the privacy of our readers when accessing content that may disclose political opinions, faith, sexual orientation or any information that may be used against them. It matches our core values. We believe that protecting our visitors is good internet citizenship.”
So you may be thinking that nothing on your site is controversial so it doesn’t really matter if the tracking history is hidden from the ISP. If that’s the case, here’s the reason you should be using an SSL certificate:
Tracking the safety of a site is one part of the complex algorithms put in place by Google. By having an SSL certificate Google will credit your site with a higher quality score which in turn can increase rankings in search results.
Increased security (SSL) = increased Google rankings = increased traffic = more conversions = more money. That’s a math problem we can all get behind!
How does it all work?
SSL2Buy provides an easy to understand breakdown:
- The browser demands the web server to identify itself
- A copy of the SSL certificate is sent by the server to the browser
- The browser checks whether the certificate is from a trusted authority
- If the certificate is valid, the browser sends a message to the server
- The server sends the digitally signed acknowledgement and establishes a secure, encrypted connection
- If all goes well, data is then transmitted securely between the web server and the browser
If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, now is the time to get one. You’ll benefit in numerous ways and most importantly keep your customers sensitive information secure.