SSL & HTTPS Benefits
1. Encrypt Sensitive Information
The primary reason why SSL is used is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can understand it. This is important because the information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This protects it from hackers and identity thieves.
2. Secure Payment Accepting
In order to meet Payment Card Industry compliance, an online business needs an SSL certificate with the proper encryption of at least 128-bit. PCI standards verify that the SSL certificate is from a trusted source, uses the right strength of encryption and provides a private connection on any page that requires customers to enter personal information. Without a certificate that meets these standards, a site won’t be able to take credit card payments.
3. Guards Against Phishing
Phishing emails often contain links that lead unsuspecting customers to a convincing replica of an otherwise reputable site. Often disguised as advertisements or shipping confirmations, these emails attempt to gather credit card information for malicious use. However, the people who build these fake sites will have a hard time obtaining an authentic SSL certificate. When customers don’t see the signs of security on a site, they’re more likely to navigate away without entering any information.
4. Improves Customer Trust
All of these elements work together to create trust between a customer and a business. Providing your customers with security for all of their information and giving them ways to verify that security improves confidence and helps to ensure a positive buying experience.
5. Boost your SEO Ranking
Google wants to send its users to secure sites and to that end has made HTTPS connections a ranking signal. That means, all else being equal — which it never is — a site with HTTPS is going to rank higher than a site without.
It’s important to note that HTTPS is a weak ranking signal. At the moment, implementing SSL is going to have a minimal impact on search positions. High-quality content is more important.
Given the benefits, going through the authorization process necessary to obtain a trusted SSL certificate is worth the effort. Attempting to operate without one deters customers and makes it difficult or impossible to take payments. Online shoppers want to know that their sensitive personal information is safe as it goes through cyberspace, and investing in SSL security is the best way to give them that peace of mind.
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