God bless the world of technology and its incessant use of acronyms.
So firstly you might be reading and thinking I have no idea what an SSL certificate means and I don’t particularly care.
Well if you buy stuff from websites or run a business or personal website then this may well be of interest.
So what is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Basically, without being too techy here, it protects your website and ensures for the consumer that you are who you say you are and that all data passed between client and the website is encrypted.
What actually is encryption in relation to SSL?
So, in short let’s regard information that you send and receive between you and a third party on the internet as a letter.
Obviously, if you were going to send an open letter in the post there is a very good chance that someone will be able to glean some information from it.
So, to protect it think as the envelope part as the encryption layer. The envelope enables information to be passed more securely between you and the recipient and to keep it away from prying eyes.
End-to-end encryption is something that the large brands are embracing based on the nature of the world we live in. We are starting to see this in our everyday lives, especially against some of the consumer based brands. You may have seen that Whatsapp recently notified its user base that messages would be encrypted end-to-end.
Do I really need an SSL certificate on my website?
Any kind of website that is asking for a user to enter their credit card details should have one. A lot of the e-commerce solutions that interact with your website maybe taking your user through to an individual payment gateway that may already be secured by that third party.
If you are buying over the internet as a consumer and you come across a site that is not displaying the symbols as to it being a secure site, then you should be keeping well away and not entering your details and submitting them (except through a secure third party such as Paypal or Amazon).
The important thing amongst all of this is ensuring that the consumer or business trusts your website by the signs listed in the next section.
How do I know if a site is secure?
If you look at all the large brands, whenever you go to their website you will see a few characteristics that will mean that their website has been secured with a certificate.
1. A solid green padlock
2. HTTP will become HTTPS
3. Potentially, your company name after the green padlock (dependant on the type of certificate)
If you go to www.mirrorsphere.com you will be able to see a difference in the address bar.
How do I go about getting an SSL certificate?
MirrorSphere partners with a number of large certificate authorities and can advise specifically what would be right for your business. The type of certificate can very much dictate the price. Also, how strong the certificate authority or brand is plays a part. (GeoTrust, Symantec, Comodo, Digicert).
Once they have received your request for a certificate they will be able to validate your company and ensure that your website represents your actual business.
Once they have done this, they will be able to issue a digital certificate. There are a few technicalities involved in getting this applied to your website which is beyond the scope of this post and is really dependant on the website platform that you run.
Why does MirrorSphere need an SSL certificate?
Well, in a nutshell, we practice what we preach. Security is paramount in today’s climate. ours forms that capture information on our website need to be protected from 3rd parties finding and stealing this data.
Our key ethos amongst our customers and future customers is trust, which is why we have gone to the effort to protect our website further, especially our customer information.
Another very key point about SSL is that it helps to increase your SEO. Google and all the other search engines will appreciate that you have gone to the effort to provide your customers with an extra level of safety and security. Because of this, they will rank you higher and this has a positive impact on SEO. Lovely stuff.
We opted for an extended validation certificate. What this means is that next to the green padlock we also have our registered company name listed.
If this post has got you thinking and you still have some unanswered questions as to whether you should be running with a certificate on your website then please let us know. We would be only too happy to help.
MirrorSphere have strong relationships with certificate authorities and can guide you through the process of what you need to do to apply this certificate onto your site.