What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol used for transmitting information securely over a network. SSL encrypts the data being sent over the network that uses a key provided known only to the recipient to unlock the data.
What this means is that when you send data to the website, it’s encrypted. In order to view this information properly, the session key created by you and the server is needed. Should anyone else try and view the information sent from either you or the server, all they will see is a jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols.
How do I know if I’m using SSL? (Use images of the secure connection here)
Most browsers indicate if your connection is secure or not. A closed lock in your browser’s address bar indicates that you are on a secure connection. You will also notice that the URL of sites using SSL start with https:// rather than the standard http://.
Should I be using SSL?
If your clients need to make a secure transaction on your site (such as payment transactions, account login) then yes, you should be using SSL. Using SSL will help to ensure that your customer’s transactions are safe and secure.
Even if your website doesn’t contain sensitive information, using SSL is still a good idea. Providing a more secure browsing environment will make the user feel safer while on your website. Google also ranks sites using SSL higher than those websites not using SSL.
How do I get SSL?
In order for your site to use SSL, you will need to get a security certificate from an SSL Certificate provider. There are a number of providers such as GeoTrust, DigiCert, and RapidSSL. The Certificates all do the same thing no matter who you get them from, so why is there a difference in price? Well, it comes down to trust. Providers that people feel are ‘safer’ will cost you more. In return, your customers feel better protected when using your site.