I used to think only websites that accept credit card information need an SSL certificate. Although those websites do need the highest level of security, they are not the only websites that need a certificate.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is used to validate your website’s identity and encrypt the information sent to and received from your website. This keeps hackers from being able to see and steal private information.
Internet browsers are now making it more apparent when a website does not have a certificate by showing some of these indicators.
In most cases, this is nothing to be alarmed about, but it does give customers a sense of insecurity. Some people viewing these websites feel vulnerable to having their personal information stolen or publicized. Although the majority of our retailer websites do not require a customer to sign in when viewing the website, we do offer an option to register and sign in. Registering gives customers the ability to sign up for email newsletters or text messaging. They can save shopping lists and recipes, which they cannot do if they are not signed in. We don’t take credit card information or social security numbers but we do ask for the customer’s name, email address and phone number. This is enough personal information to turn some customers away from entering it on a website that says, “Connection is not secure.”
Retailers often ask me how they can boost their Google ranking. One way to do that is by having an SSL certificate on your website. In 2014 Google announced that adding a certificate to your website or going with an https website address will give you a minor ranking boost. Because it is only a minor boost, I don’t suggest getting a certificate solely for boosting search rankings. Google is often changing their search algorithm and they may eventually penalize websites for not having a certificate, but for now, the main reason for a certificate is security.
So what can you do to make your website more secure? AWG Marketing can help by first determining which certificate is best for your website. We can then obtain the certificate, have it installed on your website and maintain it for you. The maintenance includes keeping everything up to date and renewed each year and cleaning up of any content that is not SSL compliant.
When the certificate is installed, customers will see this symbol in the address bar when they go to your website, and feel more secure online.