What is SSL and why every website should have it

5 min read
Brian Pereira

Every business must have a website today — simply because more and more Indians are searching the web to find products and services. However, all websites are not equal. Google is now marking sites that do not encrypt data exchanges as ‘Not Secure.’ No business wants this, since such a label will likely deter people from visiting the website. But how can you avoid having your website labelled in this way? To answer that question, we must first ask another: “What is SSL?”

What Is SSL Not Secure Message

What is SSL and what does it do?

SSL is an encryption technology that protects information as it moves to and from a website. This includes private details such as:

  • Bank or credit card numbers
  • User IDs and login details
  • Passwords
  • Email addresses
  • Aadhaar and PAN card numbers

SSL does this by scrambling everything entered on a protected website. It also provides the key to decrypt this information and make it readable by the rightful recipient.

With an SSL on your website, everything is encrypted, or scrambled, before it is transmitted over the internet — and decrypted on the other end.

When information is encrypted, it is unreadable to anyone other than you and your customer. This keeps the growing number of digital thieves from stealing your customers’ private details.

Visitors to a website can easily see if it has SSL encryption by looking at their browser bar. A website with SSL protection will show a padlock and the word ‘Secure.’ These prominent security indicators show your customers your site and business is legitimate and safe.

Business benefits of SSL encryption

What Is SSL Padlock

I spoke about customer confidence as one of the reasons to have SSL encryption. However, there are other reasons to have this protection for your business website.

Your reputation

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your customers’ data.

What Is SSL Shop
No matter how small the business is, if you have a website, you need SSL.
Photo: Kukuh Himawan Samudro on Unsplash

Customers are trusting your business when they share personal information such as their name, address, email and banking details on your website. This information must be protected so it doesn’t fall into the hands of cybercriminals. Data theft is rampant in India as elsewhere.

Better search rankings

Websites that have SSL protection will get a better search ranking on Google. They are regarded as safe and trusted, while websites without SSL are not listed in search rankings.

Just imagine what potential or existing customers would do if they were to see an alarming “Not Secure” label next to your domain name. They would wonder if the site is safe and then click away. That would mean a loss of business opportunity.

To avoid the “Not Secure” warning, all websites, regardless of whether they are just blogs, online brochures, or eCommerce sites must have SSL protection.

How do I get SSL for my website?

To get this protection for your website, you must get an SSL Certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). This is a digital certificate, not a printed one, so it is downloaded electronically.

You can acquire an SSL easily from either a free provider or paid service.

Free SSL certificates

A free provider such as Let’s Encrypt offers a standard SSL that validates your ownership of the website’s domain name. This is the lowest level of authentication among SSL certificates.

  • One authentication level
  • Completely automated process
  • Strict term length
  • No live customer service

This is a good option for people with technical skills because you’ll need to run a client application and write a few lines of codes to install the SSL.

Paid SSL certificates

A paid SSL from a trusted CA such as GoDaddy gives you a variety of options, whether you need protection for just one website or for multiple sites.

  • A variety of authentication levels (domain, organization and extended)
  • Takes longer to receive (except domain validation SSLs)
  • Scales with your business as it grows and changes
  • Your choice of term length
  • 24/7 installation help

Whichever option you choose, installing an SSL will save you the embarrassment and loss of opportunity of the “Not Secure” warning.

What Is SSL EV Certificate Indicators
An Extended Validation SSL displays the company’s name in the green address bar.

Today, 70 percent of Google Chrome traffic is SSL-encrypted — and this number will only go up. Securing your website and your customers’ data with a trusted SSL certificate will be a must-have, as more and more web visitors come to expect the green lock next to your web address.

Secure your site now

SSL protection does a lot more than provide customer confidence. It protects your customers’ private information, thereby protecting your business reputation. Hopefully this article explains what is SSL and why it is so important for your business. Get an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority, then grow your business in confidence.