What Is An SSL?

what is SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and, in simple terms, it is the standard requirement for keeping your connection to the website you are viewing secure, ensuring any sensitive data being sent between two computer systems is safeguarded. This prevents criminals from accessing and modifying any information being transferred, including personal data. The two computer systems can be a server and a client (eg, an e-commerce shopping website and your internet browser) or server to server (eg, a gateway application with personal identifiable data or with employment and PAYE information).

This ensures that any information transferred between users and websites, or between two systems remain encrypted and impossible to read. They use encryption algorithms to scramble information in being sent, preventing other software or hackers from reading it as it is sent over the secure connection. This data could be anything sensitive or personal which can include payment information and other identifiable information like names, addresses or even your date of birth.

HTTPS:// (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) will appear in the URL (address bar) of a website when is it secured by an SSL certificate. The certificate and its details, including the issuing authority and the business details of the website owner, can be viewed by clicking on the padlock icon in your website browser.

Why Do I Need An SSL?

Search engines like Google have started to highlight websites that are not secured with an SSL, usually giving you a warning before you access the site. If it is your website that does not have a valid SSL and still shows as HTTP:// in the address bar then you may be losing visitors. The search engines will soon, we hear, be penalising websites without an SSL and may even remove the site from its search results.

Installing an SSL certificate on your website is very straight forward and in-expensive if it is done when first building the site. It is also possible to change your current website from HTTP:// to HTTPS:// without having to rebuild it, the times this take will be determined by the set up of the site and ultimately how many pages there are.

If you would like to discuss any of the above, please contact us.