Does my website need an SSL Certificate?

If you own a website, or if you are into digital marketing, or even better, if you are a web security expert, then the word SSL certificate must ring a bell with you.

Quite a lot has been happening in the cybersecurity space in the past 12 months. From global-scale malware attacks to botnet-leg targeted attacks, the Internet was busy defending itself from a diverse range of security threats.

Sadly, small scale business owners and those who run single-page websites were also not spared from the assault. See this Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report for eye opening results.

Let’s talk business now. Long question, short:

Do you collect payments through your website?

If YES, your website definitely needs an SSL certificate in 2021.

And some other questions that we would like you to answer is:

  1. Do you like to dominate the first few rankings of search engine results (especially Google)?
  2. Does customer trust mean anything to your business?
  3. Do you offer memberships or account-based services/products?
  4. Do you store payment information online (other than immediate chargebacks)?

If you answered in the positive to at least three out of the four questions above, then your website cannot afford to cruise through 2018 without an SSL certificate.

Now let’s see why each of these questions was asked and how having an SSL certificate is going to help you.

SEO & Its Fondness for SSL

SEO is a pillar of support for digital marketers. It is free, natural and can bring in 8.5x more click-throughs than paid campaigns. Having an SSL certificate can be a boost to your SEO efforts. Be informed that there are digital marketers and business owners who opine that SSL and the HTTPS address bar do not make any difference to the search rankings.

But, we would like to believe that it does. After all studies have proven that more than 30% of Google’s first page results are HTTPS websites. In the past 6 months, this number should have definitely increased in the positive. So, having SSL certificate for your website is a significant in increasing website security as well as ranking in search engine results.

Safeguarding Critical Information

Trust is a good business practice. Brands that have earned their customer trust are said to be more competitive than their rivals who have deeper pockets. But, how can a business earn the trust of its customers and stakeholders?

By showing that they take the security of critical information seriously. Take for example the recent data breach at Equifax that exposed millions of customer credit information to the public. Leading business critics like Reuters are of the opinion that it could be the costliest breach ever in corporate history.

It would be a long time before Equifax would have its business trust restored and business back to normal. Do you want such a fate to fall upon your business? Or would rather take shelter in the encryption-level security of an SSL certificate and retain your brand’s trustworthiness intact?

SSL gives you a bullet-proof cover that will dodge hacking bullets shot at you from all corners. It helps safeguard critical information from being overheard of intercepted by snooping, eavesdropping, Man In the Middle Attacks and so on.

Prevents Scams & Phishing

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report has some really bad news for heavy email users. The report asserts that the Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam targeted at least 400 million businesses every day with spear-phishing emails. Traditional and innovative cybersecurity attack measures that range from malicious link redirects to imposter emailing and even Man In the Middle Attacks were seen in large volumes.

To make thing worse, Intel in its phishing quiz found that more than 97% of customers could not identify phishing emails from genuine ones. Phishing mails are also believed to have a 90% open rate (SoS Daily News).

IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reports that financial services are the worst hit with phishing attacks and email scams. The only way banks and financial institutions can safeguard their money from being looted by cybersecurity criminals is with an SSL certificate.

PCI Compliance

If your business if operating in the jurisdiction of United States, then PCI DSS is a mandatory business requirement. PCI DSS compliance requires businesses storing credit card information to take specific security measures to protect customer interests.

The compliance protocols are determined based on the volume of business transacted by the business during the year. One of the fundamental requirements of PCI DSS compliance is having an SSL certificate.

So if you are storing customer credit card information or something similar that if gone public can cause a security endemic, then an SSL certificate is a must-have. It will also help you remain PCI compliant even when your business grows in credit card or online banking transaction volume over the course of time.

Finally, where to get your SSL certificate from?

Now you know why your website needs an SSL certificate to survive the aftermath of a cybersecurity mishap. Now, the next question to address is, where to get the SSL certificate from? Who are the trusted players in the market who can provide world-class SSL certificates that can turn your website into an unassailable digital castle?

There are plenty of hosting service providers who provide their own branded SSL certificates. There are also security agencies who sell SSL certificates along with other security products like antivirus software, firewalls, security plugins and the likes.

So, pick the right SSL certificate provider to get the right type of SSL certificate at the best price that fits you to stay secure on the web.

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