In the past SSL certificates were used mainly by large e-commerce organizations who conduct thousands of online sales every day. However SSL certificates are now being used by businesses of all sizes to keep their customers data safe and indicate an increased level of trust.
More than 43% of small businesses targeted by hackers
The threat from cybercrime is not going away any time soon, in fact they’re on the rise with a dramatic rise in attacks over the 5 years. One study by security experts Symantec’s in 2015 found that small businesses were being targeted in attacks 43% of the time, up from just 18% in 2011.
Google wants to reward businesses with secure websites
Google is the starting point for most people when using the internet, they want to direct people to trustworthy websites that are going to keep their customers information safe. As such over the past few years Google has been taking steps to encourage greater adoption of web security among website owners.
Google added HTTPS to the list of ranking factors in 2014, meaning that websites with an SSL certificate would receive a small ranking boost. However evidence suggests that Google is pushing HTTPS even more and the benefit of having an SSL certificate could increase.
What is HTTPS?
- HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP, the protocol used to communicate information between the user and the web server. The S indicates a level of security so that all communications between the web browser and the business website are secure.
And what about SSL?
- SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer – In essence, SSL allows for a private “conversation” just between the two intended parties. An SSL certificate authenticates the websites identity and tells users their information is being secured.
HTTPS Adoption is on the rise…
More and more businesses are moving over to HTTPS, not just for the ranking boost but to secure their web properties against the ever growing threats from cyber criminals.
This could be that more websites with HTTPS are being rewarded with higher rankings, or that there are simply more websites with HTTPS, perhaps both.
Who needs an SSL certificate?
If you collect any information from a form such as name, email, phone number etc.. your website should have an SSL certificate. If you sell anything on your website and collect payment information an SSL ceritificate is a must.
How can I Buy an SSL Certificate?
You may be able to buy a certificate from your web domain registrar or web host. Alternatively you can use another provider such as Namecheap. You don’t need to be a large corporation to afford an SSL certificate. They can usually be picked up from $50 per year upwards.
For your average small business that doesn’t sell online, this would be adequate protection.