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Benefits of an SSL Certificate

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Over the past few years SSL Certificates have become a basic requirement for all websites. SSL Certificates protect your website visitors and customers from identity thieves and hackers. These identity thieves and hackers are looking to steal not only credit card information, but also the most basic information you submit through a website such as your name, email address, phone number, etc.

SSL Certificates protect this data being transmitted through your website through encryption. SSL Certificates verify ownership of a website, so customers can trust your website is legitimate. SSL Certificate encryption has become an essential component in having a reputable online presence. 

What is SSL?

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL Certificates are used to protect the information website visitors enter and submit through your website. SSL Certificates protect your customers from identity thieves and hackers who are looking to steal sensitive date and use it to their own advantage. 

On the flip-side, SSL Certificates verify ownership of a website so customers can trust your website is legitimate. As website visitors submit their information info a contact form, subscribe to your newsletter, and enter their credit card information as they make a purchase in your online shop, having an SSL Certificate in pace reassures your website visitors that their data is safe by providing a secure website. 

How do SSL Certificates work?

The basic answer to this question is that an SSL Certificate encrypts information as it travels from a web browser to a web server. As the information travels from your web browser to the web server, an action commonly referred to as the SSL ‘handshake’ occurs. This is the point in which encryption keys (a public key and a private key) are exchanged to encrypt and decrypt data as it travels through a network. 

An example we can use is a credit card number. We have all entered our credit card number into many websites over the years. As credit card information is entered into the site, the SSL Certificate protects the website user. For example say your credit card number is ‘5555 5555 5555 5555’. As this number travels through your website to the web server, the SSL Certificate codes your credit card number into a random string of characters (for example: t%uZ6Rp9$avyj4). A public key is used to create the encoded mu,ber and it can only be decoded using the private key stored within the website’s web server. Once the encrypted code reaches the web server, the number is decrypted so the order may be processed. 

Do you need SSL?

In 2014 Google began to place emphasis on SSL Certificates, so much in fact that they rank websites using the SSL Certificate secured HTTPS protocol higher than website that use the non-encrypted HTTP protocol. Additionally, in 2018, Google’s Chrome web browser began to display scary ‘Website Not Secure’ warnings and messages to websites that do not have SSL Certificates installed. Other web browsers like FireFix soon followed Google’s lead. So, basically SSL has now become a requirement of every website, especially if you are accepting payments online. In order for your website to be Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliant, website owners must have SSL installed and functioning properly.  

At Hazel Digital Media, we offer domain validated SSL Certificates with every website we build. SSL encryption has become an essential component of gaining the trust of your website visitors, as well as the Google’s trust that your website is up-to-date and compliant with current web standards. 

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