Google and other major internet companies are promoting greater online security by encouraging business owners to install SSL (secure socket layer) certificates on every website.

When an SSL certificate is used, it causes a padlock to be displayed in the browser’s address bar and for the URL to show as an ‘HTTPS’ address rather than an unencrypted ‘HTTP’.

Until recently, only websites taking online card payments, such as ecommerce stores and subscription-based sites, have been advised to purchase such a licence. But now, Google has given every business a compelling reason to secure their websites, confirming that sites equipped with an SSL certificate will be prioritised in its search algorithm.

What do SSL certificates do?

SSL certificates perform two technical functions, which can help protect your users’ sensitive data, thereby boosting overall confidence in your site.

Firstly, they encrypts all communication between your website and the user’s browser, which means that card details, email addresses and any other sensitive information being submitted to your site cannot be intercepted by hackers. Secondly, an SSL certificate helps authenticate your site to visitors, proving that you are indeed who you say you are – rather than a cybercriminal who might be impersonating your site in order to engineer a phishing attack.

Why are they so important?

Hackers have always been interested in acquiring users’ bank details and passwords but with an increase in ‘social engineering’, other details such as telephone numbers and email addresses can be just as useful to the criminals.

Google, Facebook, WC3 and other major players are now calling for increased online security in order to improve the express and help provide ‘privacy by default’.

What’s more, that frequently overlooked padlock is set to become even more crucial in the coming months, as the likes of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome announce they will be marking all unencrypted sites with a prominent ‘non-secure’ warning.

We provide all our customers with SSL certificates. If you have any questions regarding web security, don’t hesitate to call us on 01293 871971.