Last updated on February 28th, 2019
Ensuring that your business’s online data remains secure is of utmost importance. Ever since the infamous Target data breach in 2013 in which over 40 million customer credit and debit card numbers were stolen by hackers, companies are more on edge than ever about protecting sensitive information. Fortunately, security can be accomplished by using SSL.
What is SSL, you ask? SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a connection encryption technology that works to make sure communications between web servers and web browsers stay private and secure. Once an SSL connection is created, all the data contained within will be private and confidential.
SSL is now the standard for ensuring secure data. In fact, it’s used by millions of website, and chances are websites you regularly use employ it. Any time you enter a website beginning with “https://” you’ve entered a SSL-secured connection.
If you’re currently running (or looking to start) an online business, you should seriously consider using an SSL. For starters, it helps establish trust in your business.
How does SSL secure data?
SSL works by creating a certificate that forms a connection between a web server and a user’s browser. This certificate ensures that all of the data transmitted between the server and browser is decrypted before it can be read. Therefore, the connection keeps all data from prying eyes because others on the internet will not be able to interpret the encrypted data.
Steps for Creating an SSL Connection
In order to establish an SSL, you’ll need to follow a few steps to ensure the connection is secure:
- Enter or select your URL that is secure (e.g. “https://myawesomebusiness.com”)
- You’ll receive a reply once the web server receives the URL and attempts to build a connection between browser and server. This is known as the “SSL handshake.”
- Upon creation of an SSL certificate confirmed by the SSL handshake, your data will be encrypted between server and browser. Your data is now private and secure!
How can you (or your visitors) know a site is SSL?
SSL certificates are not usually presented to visitors. Typically, browsers will make sure that SSL certified websites feature a lock or other identifying mark in the address bar. Visitors can use these cues to know that while they’re on a particular website that their data will remain secure. Furthermore, visitors can click on this lock to view the certificate details.
How HTTPS Affects Rankings
In addition to securing your business’s and customer’s data, using an SSL certificate on your site will also give you a minor ranking boost in search engines. In August 2014, Google announced that switching to HTTPS gives websites a small bump up in the overall ranking algorithm.
Of course, other signals – like strong, high-quality content and mobile responsiveness – still have more weight on rankings than SSL, but securing your site certainly helps.
Although Google has stated that it’s safe for webmasters to transition their sites to HTTPS, it is important that it is done right in order to make sure your traffic doesn’t accidentally take hit.
For more information on proper SSL certificate protocol and other SEO website services offered by the experts at SEO Advantage, contact us by email or phone today and we’ll be in touch.