Having an SSL certificate on your website ensures four main benefits:
- Authentication – SSL helps to make sure that the server your computer is talking to is who they claim to be. Without SSL, your customers may unknowingly be submitting sensitive data to an unsecured server where their information can be stolen.
- Data Integrity – By having an SSL certificate on your website, you can make sure that the data that is submitted is not modified or compromised between your customers and the server.
- Encryption – SSL protects the actual information from anyone else so hackers or others cannot find out what is being submitted or what the actual communication is regarding.
- SEO Ranking – Google provides benefits and improved SEO rankings to sites that have an SSL certificate. Therefore, if your site has an https indicator, it is automatically performing better than sites that do not. By simply securing your website, you are not only making it safer for your customers, but also helping to improve your SEO ranking and therefore your site traffic.
With many sites offering online options during the pandemic (including health portals at doctor’s offices, online payment options, forms collecting data with addresses and email information, and more), it is vital at this time to protect any and all information that your site collects. Even if your site redirects payments through an outside link such as PayPal or Apple Pay, it is still important to protect sensitive information and to give your clients the peace of mind that you are taking every precaution to ensure their online safety.
While it is always the hope that Internet users would know not to enter any sensitive information unless they are absolutely certain they can trust the site and have checked to see that it is a secure page, you never know what information people might submit, and it is best to always use an SSL certificate to encrypt information even as simple as a first name.