In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about HTTPS sites being mandatory, and Google Chrome tagging the ones that don’t have it as ‘not secure’. HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol defines the way messages are formatted and shared online. HTTPS is simply HTTP over a security layer called SSL or Secure Sockets Layer. It secures the communication which happens over the Internet between two devices.
Today, we will be talking about SSL certificates and their importance to e-commerce websites.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificate is a security certificate that you install on your server. This certificate ensures that any communication between a user’s device and your server is encrypted. Hence, it becomes difficult for anyone to hack the communication. While it offers a host of benefits to all websites, it is a must for e-commerce platforms. Any such platform has a lot of sensitive data like personally identifiable information and financial details of its clients. If a hacker gains access to the server, then this information can be compromised, leading to financial losses and a bad reputation.
Here are some reasons why an SSL Certificate is essential for your e-commerce site.
1. Helps you accept payments in a secured manner
If you’re an e-commerce platform that accepts online payments using credit/debit cards, then having an SSL Certificate installed on your site is a mandatory requirement. Most hosting providers make it mandatory for a site to buy an SSL Certificate before accepting online payments. Apart from the compulsory factor, you wouldn’t want your customer’s information to fall into the wrong hands through your website. Using encryption, an SSL Certificate helps you accept online payments securely.
2. Protects the login page
It is crucial to know how hackers attempt a security breach to thwart a hacking attempt. The login page is a prime hunting ground for hackers who keep looking for vulnerabilities to crack a user’s login credentials and gain unauthorized access without raising any suspicion. By protecting the login page with an SSL Certificate, you can encrypt and protect all the login information before sending it to your server for authentication and keep hackers at bay as well.
3. Protects web forms
An e-commerce site collects a lot of data from its visitors to help create customized offerings. It is information like email addresses, payment data, surveys and various questionnaires. While this information is useful for the website, hackers can target web forms that you use to collect this information. By installing an SSL Certificate, you can extend its protection to the web forms used on your site.
In 2014, Google announced that any website that does not have an SSL Certificate would be tagged as ‘not secure’ on the Chrome browser. It also made it clear that sites with SSL will get a minor boost in SEO rankings. With the online market being a highly competitive activity, e-commerce platforms with SSL certificates can benefit from the smallest SEO push that they can get.
An SSL Certificate is an essential inclusion in the matrix of security measures for your site. By encrypting the information exchange between two devices online, it ensures that your customers feel assured about sharing their information with you. If you don’t already have one, then make sure that you talk to your web hosting provider and get it installed today. While you can get a free SSL with your hosting account, it is better to buy a paid SSL certificate to get comprehensive protection and advanced security.