You have an online store, and just before setting everything up, a prompt comes up telling you to install an SSL certificate. You may have heard a little bit about SSL certificates but you have no idea if it is necessary to run an online store. Well, we can answer that question and more. In recent times, there has been a focus on cybersecurity, but this clashes with the general ignorance on all things concerning SSL and its role in a website. Is an SSL certificate necessary to run an online store? What benefits do you get to enjoy if you decide to set this up on your e-commerce store? Let’s start from the top, what exactly is an SSL certificate?
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificate represents an acronym, Secure Sockets Layer, which has experienced increased popularity in the online retail sector. In 1994, Netscape developed this web protocol, which was designed to increase the level of security in online communications. This simply means that it manages data exchange between two devices by providing a secure channel.
How an SSL certificate can help your online store
Technology has gone so far in the last decade with payment channels going online. Gone are the days where every transaction involved walking into the banking hall, as most commercial transactions now take place in a digital environment. However, this comes with a lot of vulnerabilities. Your online store will be providing products and services to people from different parts of the world. This will also include a channel where it will be required for payment of online services. However, since they would have to put in their bank details that could easily be linked to their accounts and their funds being at risk, people want to be guaranteed a secure transaction and communication. Cyber hackers have taken advantage of the opportunities on the internet and turned them into an avenue for lots of attacks, including credit/debit card fraud, phishing, and malware. These are only a few of the threats that could jeopardize the security of your online store. However, SSL certificates can stop this. What they do is to encrypt and safeguard the data recorded on your online store such that the information transferred between browsers and servers won’t get into the wrong hands.
How does the SSL certificate work?
Apart from acting as a shield for your customers against attacks, SSL certificates analyze and verify every data to stop any malware from affecting any channel being used for the payment.
Starting an online business requires a lot of checks and balances. Sure, you will be using web browsers to communicate with your customers, but this will also involve the transfer of sensitive information while selling your products. An SSL certificate will keep you from ruining your online store from the start. Here are the simple steps on how it works:
- The SSL certificate goes into action as soon as a browser and a web server on your e-commerce store try to establish a connection
- The SSL certificate gives authorization to the browser through the web server as soon as it determines that everything is in order
- The next stage is determining whether the SSL certificate is valid or not. The browser does this by sending a message to the webserver. For a valid SSL certificate, the session starts while the SSL encrypts the data transfer
- Finally, this encrypted data is then transferred from browser to e-commerce web server.
This seems like a complicated process, but for your online customers, it only takes a few seconds. With this simple mechanism, the browser is secured against hackers as sensitive information is encrypted. Now, let’s talk about how SSL certificates can help your online business.
Why you need SSL certificate for your online store?
If you would love to add value to your online store, then it’s a great idea to install an SSL certificate on your online business website. Check BludigitBox offers from reputable partners for some pricing plans you may like. Without SSL certificates in e-commerce, sensitive information from your users, such as their usernames, credit card information, and passwords, would be at risk. Here are other reasons why you need an SSL certificate on your website.
- Helps in building user confidence
How many times have you tried accessing a website, and as soon as the “website is not secured” tag comes on, you close the browser tab immediately? That warning will send a lot of potential users away from your online store before they have the chance to check your products and services. However, with that green padlock sitting cozily on their browser tab, they will have that extra confidence while browsing through your online store because that is proof of a working SSL certificate. Even those that are not fully aware of what it means will still be less suspicious when they see that padlock that signifies security.
- Improve your ranking on search engines
No doubt, you are aware of the almighty Google and its algorithms. It goes without saying that this algorithm wouldn’t want to put unsecured sites at the top of its search results ranking. Since these algorithms are always being updated and perfected, they are focused on accuracy and bringing results that won’t put users at risk. An SSL certificate on your online store gives it more credibility as more importance is placed on websites that use SSL certificates and HTTPS protocols. There is a considerable difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Both stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol while the S in HTTPS stands for “Secured.” Your website displays as HTTPS when it has an active SSL certificate. It’s only logical that search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and so many others would want their users to feel safe and secure while searching for an online store.
- Saves you the hassle of a lost credit card information
All that time that should be spent improving your products and services shouldn’t be filled with complaints about compromised credit card information. For that added peace of mind, you need to install SSL security for your online store. This will give your online store an extra layer of security for all card payments.
The bottom line is that focusing on cybersecurity by installing an SSL certificate on your online store will give you an extra edge over your competitors. SSL security is one thing that will help your online business stand out.