What Is an SSL and Why Do You Need One?

Internet security may not be on the top of the list for most business owners, but it is very important. For most businesses, a company’s website is the most important marketing tool they have. Having a hacked site can cause serious damage to a company including losing customer confidence in using the site and having search engine ranking results negated by Google.

One of the simplest fixes a company can do to prevent hacking is to purchase an SSL (Secured Socket Layer). Although no site is ever 100% protected from hackers, an SSL may dissuade them enough to go look elsewhere. Depending on company needs, there are different types of SSLs that protect either the main domain or may include protecting subdomains (ie: login.companyurl.com). Typically, SSLs cost less than $100 and are renewed each year.

Having an SSL has several benefits. In fact, Google has recently announced that companies who don’t have SSLs may experience a drop in search engine rankings. Other benefits include making the website a trusted site where customers can feel comfortable filling out forms or logging in without fear of their data being compromised. Having an SSL is part of PCI (Payment Card Industry standards) compliance and required for any site that captures or processes credit card information. Lastly, an SSL is essential for any website that requires a user to login to a private area. Even if the data on the company site is not of a financial matter, many times visitors will use the same password they use on other sites. Although password usage is the visitor’s responsibility, having a password compromised on a company’s site can result in bad PR and unnecessary sales losses.

Most business owners are very busy running a business. For less than $100 per year, implementing an SSL is easy and an effective way to minimize the chances of having a website hacked. Instill confidence with website visitors, protect the domain and focus on growing the business.