An SSL certificate proves that your website belongs to the individual or organisation that claims to be the owner, and, more importantly, it encrypts information as it travels to your website. This means that if you ask for credit card information, personal data and even usernames and passwords, you can benefit from an SSL certificate, and ensure that all of your users are protected. Basically, the SSL certificate:
- Encrypts sensitive information
- Provides authentication
- And provides trust
How does the SSL provide security?
The SSL encrypts sensitive information as it travels the internet, in order to ensure that only the intended recipient can properly understand it. Due to the structure of the internet, data travels from computer to computer in a network, until it reaches its destination. Each computer along the way is able to read all of the data passed through it. When a website uses an SSL certificate, this information is encrypted rendering it meaningless to everyone except for the receiving server. Needless to say, this protects the data from hackers and identity thieves. In fact, SSL is considered so important that you have to it in order to be PCI compliant and accept credit card payment. Another layer of security is added through authentication. This means that SSL ensures that information is always sent to the right server and not an impostor. Therefore, you have to go through several identity checks before an SSL provider will grant you an SSL certificate. However, not all identity tests are standard, with certain types of SSL certificates such as the EV SSL certificates requiring more validation than others.
More than just security
Having an SSL certificate will not just enable you to protect your data, but also to rank higher on Google. A site will be more trusted by Google if it has an SLL certificate, and therefore, will be placed higher as it will be seen as trustworthy. You will also build trust with your customers, as they will feel better about giving you sensitive data. For more information about SSL certificates and why you need one, or how to go about getting one, contact Cloud.co.za today!