Website security has become a hot topic in recent months. Mostly because of Google’s push towards a completely secure internet. Do you really need to shell out the extra money for an SSL certificate?
What is an SSL?
An SSL is a security standard that allows your browser to establish an encrypted connection with the server. In layman’s terms, it means that the site is safe and secure. On many browsers there will be a green bar in the address bar next to the URL if the site has an SSL certificate. If the site doesn’t have that green bar and lock, it doesn’t mean the site is unsafe to be on. It just means there isn’t an encrypted connection. The site you are currently on doesn’t have an SSL, but the site itself is still safe.
Who needs an SSL?
If you expect your customers to enter confidential information such as a password, card information, or id numbers then you should have an SSL. E-commerce stores or any website that is taking payments absolutely has to have an SSL. This will make sure that the payment information is safe. If your site doesn’t expect any information to be entered then an SSL could be skipped, but because of the new Google guidelines it is still recommended to get an SSL.
What is Google’s involvement?
Google is the number one search engine in the world. They also created the Chrome Browser. Google decided that all websites should be securely encrypted. When they changed the guidelines they wanted developers to follow there wasn’t much that could be done due to the size of Google. To push developers to secure their sites they first added the security bar next to the URL. At first it was just a green lock if the site was secure. They then added a grey “not secure” label so that consumers knew if they were on a website without an SSL. Recently, they started considering whether the site has an SSL when indexing your site. If you don’t have an SSL then it is going to rank your site lower in the search results to favor a site that does have an SSL.
Because of Google the internet has become more secure. You don’t always need an encrypted connection, but it doesn’t hurt your site either. Overall it is a good change that will keep consumers secure, but it does add an extra thing that you have to worry about on your site. Avahi makes it easy though. We handle all of the hosting and security needs of your site and the SSLs are already built into the website price.