It’s all about security for your browser. With more business and transactions going online during 2020, cybercrime is set to increase. SSL certificates are no longer seen as just being for e-commerce website, they are important as a mark of integrity and care for the browser.

Why your website’s SSL certificate is important

Without an SSL certificate, Google will rank your site as a potential area of threat, or vulnerability for the browser – something you really want to avoid.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which are tiny files of data that work to form an encrypted link between the web server and the browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.

An SSL certificate means your website can run over HTTPS, shown by the padlock in the top left of the address bar in a browser, rather than just HTTP.

Think ‘S’ for ‘security’. The S means that the website is secure and all information and data passing between the browser’s computer and your website is secure (encrypted). Particularly where your site is handling browsers’ details and personal information, this encryption afforded by the certificate is vital in order to ensure your browsers’ security.

What can happen without an SSL certificate?

Without the private link between web server and browser, any information that is entered on a page can be seen, intercepted and stolen by a hacker.

Sometimes called ‘man-in-the-middle attacks’; these happen when a hacker places an unobtrusive ‘listening program’ on a server hosting an insecure website. The program waits silently, and then when a browser starts inputting any information the website, it starts to capture that information and send to the hacker.

But, with the SSL certificate in place, any information entered is completely private between the browser and your website, and secure from hackers.

SSL certificates not just for e-commerce sites

How important you consider the SSL certificate says a lot about what you consider to be online integrity, and the reassurance you want to give to your browser. The padlock in the browser address bar is highly visible to the browser. If you don’t have the SSL certificate, the browser will know they are dealing with an insecure site.

It goes without saying that SSL certificates are absolutely essential for e-commerce sites where personal and financial information is being entered. But SSL certificates are also important for non-e-commerce sites.

The secure padlock signals security and integrity to the browser, whether they are entering personal details or not. Perhaps your page just asks for sign-up details for a newsletter, or updates. Either way, no well-informed browser is going to enter any details at all without the padlock in place.

And even if your website is not asking for any details at all, Google will rank according to what it sees as a potentially non-secure site.

In terms of online credibility, assurance and care for your browsers, there really is no option than to install your SSL certificate without delay.