If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between HTTP or HTTPS when browsing the internet, you’re not alone. The “S” in HTTPS stands for Security, which is the SSL Certificate you obtain when creating a website domain. On the other hand, HTTP data is not encrypted and is therefore more vulnerable to interception by third parties to gather data being passed between the two systems. Having a site that is SSL Certified provides many benefits not only to the owner of the website but site visitors as well. Read on to learn everything you need to know about SSL Certificates.
1.What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is the backbone of a secure internet and a security method which allows for the encryption of data when being transferred over a server. SSL certificates help to protect the transfer of sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and usernames, consumer information and more. Additionally, having an SSL certificate can also protect your own website from scammers and phishing scams.
2. What are the benefits of using SSL on your website?
There are four main benefits of using SSL Certificates:
- Authentication – Ensures the servers we are talking to are who they claim to be.
- Data Integrity – Makes sure the data is not modified in transit between your client and the servers
- Encryption – Protects the actual communication from eavesdroppers so that they cannot tell what the communication is about
- SEO Ranking – Google now provides a slight ranking boost to websites using HTTPS.
Since Google has announced SSL certificates as a ranking factor, sites that have SSL certificates may appear higher in search than those that do not.
At Twenty Over Ten, we understand the importance of keeping your website secure and also want to give you the best chance to optimize your site for SEO. That’s why we provide FREE SSL Certificates to all of our clients.
Many financial advisors have client portals, file-sharing, or client forms on their websites, increasing the importance of a site with an SSL certificate. Even if your client portal takes users to an outside link (such as eMoney or MoneyGuide Pro login opening in a new window), users who are not aware of the difference (of being directed to a third party site versus staying on the advisors’ website) may get the impression that you are asking them to enter sensitive information over an unsecure network.
Additionally, while we would all hope prospects and clients would not enter any sensitive information (such as social security numbers or account information) via your website’s online form, you never know what someone may enter, and it is best to ensure encryption via SSL.
3. So, Do I need an SSL certificate if I am not collecting any sensitive information?
The short answer is yes, you do.
In addition to the reasons stated above, Google has also announced new efforts within Chrome to encourage webmasters and site owners to move their sites to HTTPS. Later this year, Google’s Chrome browser will show a warning message on pages that have search boxes or forms to fill out.
Google said, “[in] October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”
In short, everyone should be adding SSL certificates to their website, regardless of the type of business they run. Financial advisors who do any sort of filing sharing or online forms should especially work to add an SSL certificate to their website as soon as possible.
To learn more about why Google is so adamant about securing the internet, watch Google Webmaster’s “HTTPS everywhere” video.
Want to Learn More About How to Get a HTTPS Secure Site for Your Firm?
We understand the importance of keeping your website secure and also want to give you the best chance to optimize your site for SEO. That’s why we offer FREE SSL Certificates for all websites built on the Twenty Over Ten platform.