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What is SSL? And why do I need it?

Why you’re losing out if you don’t have an SSL certificate

Ever noticed a padlock icon in your web browser when accessing certain websites? Or perhaps a green address bar? This means that these websites are using SSL certificates to secure and protect any data being transferred from your web browser to the organisation’s web server.

Here are the 4 basics of what you need to know about SSL certificates:

​1. What is SSL?

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SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Its purpose is to create an encrypted connection between your web server and a user’s web browser, meaning that all data is transferred safely, securely and privately and out of the reach of hackers or identity thieves. SSL should always be used for transferring banking or credit card information, but is becoming more and more important for the transfer of any data online.

2. Why do I need it?

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To protect your users.

User security should be the number 1 reason to make the switch to SSL. Concerns over personal data theft online are high, and you need to be showing a solid effort to protect your website visitors by providing a safe environment at all times.

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For complete customer trust.

More and more websites are becoming SSL certified in 2016 which will make yours stand out for the wrong reasons if it isn’t offering this level of security. SSL certificates are easily identified on sites through https, lock icons and green bars for easy user recognition.

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It can boost your Google rankings.

Switching your website to become SSL protected is a dedicated step towards web security which Google greatly admire. In fact, they’ve publicly announced that they make an effort to boost search results rankings of those sites who are adopting this encryption technology. Recently they also announced that they are beginning to mark regular HTTP websites as “unsafe” and warn users about websites which aren’t using SSL certificates.

3. How do I set up SSL?

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If you want to get an SSL certificate for your website there are a number of stages to complete before you receive validation with an issued certificate ready to install. How quickly you get your certificate and switch to HTTPS depends on a number of various factors. Your current web team should be happy to advise you on best way forward for your business or organisation. 

4. What costs are involved in switching to HTTPS?

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Typically there is a one-time installation and setup fee, alongside a yearly renewal for the SSL certificate which has been installed. Costs for SSL certificates vary in price depending on what certificate you choose, the level of protection and if there are any sub-domains to certify. 

Ensuring your website is SSL protected brings many advantages for both you and your website visitors, and with Google’s new plans to highlight sites without this level of security it’s the right time to find out more about your options and how to switch to a more secure, SEO-friendly website solution in 2016.


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