Every day you learn of a new identify theft or cybercrime – crimes that cost companies, businesses and individuals large amounts of money in stolen dollars and confidential information. It is vital that anyone who conducts transactions online is careful to ensure that those transactions are secure. In addition to providing a secure transaction, SSL can help your search engine ranking (SEO).

In order to ensure a secure transaction, you should look for the lock on the left of the browser address bar and “https://” at the beginning of the address. If that is missing while you make a transaction or submit protected health information, you are at risk of letting criminals or hackers access your information. If your business has submission forms with personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or financial information, adding an SSL certificate on your site is one of the best ways to prevent an identify theft or cyber crime.

What is SSL?

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer utilizes an encrypted system that requires two keys to both encrypt and decrypt data as it is transmitted from a browser to the server. When you have an SSL certificate on your website, it is a symbol of protection for people who are making purchases, financial transactions, or entering any PII Or PHI. SSL protects your username, password, credit card information and any other details you enter into a form.

Any eCommerce business that stores private information or accepts payment online is required to use an SSL certificate to protect their website.

What are the benefits of SSL?

SSL has many benefits for both the business who owns the website or application, as well as the end user who submits their sensitive information.

Data is encrypted

Any time information is sent to and from your website, it is encrypted and decrypted. Th information goes through several computers and internet passes prior to reaching its destination and reduces the risk of interference significantly. Without the appropriate encryption key, the data is unreadable to anyone who accesses the information during transmission.

Transmission is authenticated

Your customers want peace of mind knowing that the information they send over the web is reaching its intended destination. When you purchase SSL, you gain a server certificate that is your website’s liaison between the browser and SSL servers. It verifies that the provider of the certificate is trusted.

Required to make online payments

The payment card industry (PCI) requires that all online stories are secure with an SSL certificate that has at least 128-bit encryption. In order to comply, businesses must use this encryption level to be considered a trusted site. With the increase of cybercrime and identity theft, shoppers are much more aware now of the importance of online payment security.

Protects against phishing

Phishing occurs when an individual attempts to trick a user into providing their website credentials or private information. These often appear as spam or pop-up windows. They make you think a website or email is from a legitimate source – often replicating a website. Fraudulent actors have a difficult time obtaining SSL certificates, and vigilant customers who recognize a site is not SSL can quickly catch a potential phishing scam and navigate away from it.

Gains trust from your customers

With an SSL certificate, your customers and patients know that you are a trusted website that is safe and secure. They can be at peace that you are handling and transmitting their sensitive information and protected health information safely.

You can increase search engine ranking

In recent years, Google added mobile-friendly websites to its search engine ranking factors, deemed, “Mobilegeddon.” Businesses scrambled to make their websites compliant. SSL is the next Mobilegeddon. Google has now added SSL as one of its ranking signals, and with the increase and prominence of internet-based crimes, we think it will be one of the next great waves of website updates.

Criminals are working hard to access your and your customer’s sensitive information to steal money. Businesses who engage in transactions online or transmitting sensitive information should assess the risks and implement a plan to add SSL to their website.

Do you need an SSL certificate for your website? Decatur Digital Solutions can help you to obtain and install a certificate for your ecommerce website, financial institution or health-related business. Please contact us to learn more.