Lately greater focus has been placed on SSL certificates. You’ve been hearing a lot about web security too, and these go hand in hand of course. All in all, we are trying to make the web a safer place for everyone.
In this article we will talk about what an SSL certificate is and why it today is something crucial to have on your website. Just another hygiene factor.
SSL Certificates Encrypt Traffic
What an SSL certificate does, simplified, is encrypting traffic between the computer and the server so that a third-party can’t easily read it in the middle. It ensures that only the two parties that should access what is being sent, can in fact access it.
Think for a moment about everything we send across the internet. First and foremost, we are almost all the time sending our personal details when submitting forms and making enquiries. But that’s not all. Transactional details and messages themselves contain personal information that shouldn’t fall in the wrong hands.
Add all the financial data on top of this too. Data that everyone instantly would consider private and confidential. But so are personal details in general. We just don’t think enough about it.
Intercepting Traffic is Trivial
It is important to remember how trivial it is to intercept traffic. It doesn’t take a world-class hacker. Even more trivial if you are submitting the data over a public, non-encrypted WiFI connection.
A lot of our users will undoubtedly not worry about VPN connections and transmit tons of easily intercepted data over public connections. For this reason, SSL certificates and encrypted traffic becomes even more important.
Google Chrome Now Warns of Non-Secure Websites
If you have some kind of login or transactional form, Google Chrome will in January 2017 start warn users if the website is not using an SSL certificate. This is only the first step. Google has promised to expand this later to any website not using an SSL certificate.
Why is Google doing this? Simple. They want to speed up our adoption of SSL certificates.
You don’t want your visitors to come by your website now and be warned that your site is not secure. That is scaring everyone away.
Luckily, an SSL certificate isn’t rocket science to get.
Getting a Certificate is Simple and Cheap
For a basic website that doesn’t handle confidentially classed material, or heavy transactions, obtaining an certificate is both cheap and easy.
Websites needing more heavy-duty security and protection needs to invest a little more into their SSL certificates. But the process is still easy.
Today most web hosts are offering integrations with the certificate provider Let’s Encrypt, who offers free certificates to websites. Free is definitely cheap, right?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be migrating your website over to use an encrypted, HTTPS, connection. In fact, you need to be doing it urgently.