SSL Certificates, (secure socket layer) security is a must have for any online ecommerce website or any site which that wishes to accept payments. SSL certificates are a massive benefit to your website and your visiting customers. Gaining their confidence is very important and if you wish to be successful online. In this article we will be highlighting some of a SSL benefits not only to you but to your customers as well.
If you have an online business such as an online store it is most likely that you have head of SSL. An SSL certificate is an online security encryption method used to keep data transferred on your site by your customers secure. You will also likely be hosting your store somewhere, click here for savings on hosting plans.
SSL certificates also give instant security and peace of mind to your customers as your site will show that it is secure either by displaying a padlock or a green address bar. We thought we would list some of the main benefits that come with purchasing a SSL certificate and how it helps with the protection on your website.
SSL certificates will keep you and your site protected and not just your customers. To work your website will use something called a server where all your information and details about your site are kept online and therefore you will need something called a digital certificate. When you purchase a SSL certificate you will be provided with a one of these certificates. Your customers and visitors to your site will then be able to read them. Digital Certificates are obtained from trusted third parties known as Certificate Authorities that can guarantee the encryption of your website. The certificate is proof that the server is what it says it is and you are who you say you are.
SSL certificates will make it almost impossible for online fraudsters to pretend to be another server on your website, making your customers feel safe and want to use your site again.
One of the main functions of using SSL protection on your site is that it makes transaction conversations private. SSL certificates encrypt any data used on your site, such as credit or debit card numbers, PayPal details, login details into unreadable pieces of information.
SSL certificates will then add random numbers and digits to that information making it impossible to determine any details of value. Once your information has been transformed into a mass of characters, to enable the recipient of the information to transform it back to a readable format the website owner will have a encryption key that will allow them to decode the messages. Fear not if the information does fall into the wrong hands all the information will be useless.
Customer confidence is perhaps the main reason why you need to have a SSL certificate in place on your website. It will allow customers to see and verify that you are taking the protection of their personal information seriously. Of course the average Joe shopping online will notice if a site has a SSL or for that matter what a SSL certificate is! This is why it is important to show and make a point of placing your SSL certificate icon on your site. Also another idea to inform your customers that you are using a SSL to keep your site secure is to place the information in your site disclaimer or T&C’s or take advantage of a certificate that has a Site Seal you can prominently display.
Customers will also benefit from SSL
When looking for a secure website or online company to spend your hard earned cash on, it is important for visitors to your site to favour yours over your competition. Websites with an SSL will protect any of your customers personal payment information safe and secure. As a visitor to your site, one of the the key things that will go through your head is if the site is safe to use and you will want to know that your personal information is as safe as it can be. By looking out for the SSL certificate you will know that the site you are using is safe and the online company you are using is safe and reputable company, and all your details will be safe and secure.
An SSL certificate will not completely protect you from identity theft. You have to play your part in being careful where you submit your information. But. Websites that use SSL significantly reduce the likelihood of any of your information falling into the wrong hands. It is important that we all play our part in keeping our details secure, and being careful where we shop online. Unfortunately today there are people are out there whose only intent online is to steal your information.
There are many different types of certificates and they vary in price. The main types of SSL are dedicated, shared, wildcard and free. With lots of suppliers of SSL’s online it pays to shop around.
Do I Need an SSL Certificate with a Shopify Store?
No. When you sign up with Shopify, they include an SSL certificate with their plan.
Dedicated SSL Certificates
Dedicated SSL’s are assigned specifically to the domain name of your website. So in order to obtain a dedicated certificate you have to have your own unique domain ending, for example, in.com or.co.uk. Prices of domain names vary but there are plenty of domain registrars online. With a dedicated certificate it is not shared with any another domain name, and these do not usually provide SSL protection for website sub-domains other than www.
A Dedicated SSL is one of the most expensive SSL’s to purchase.
Shared SSL certificates
Unlike the dedicated certificates, where you have your own domain name and your own unique certificate, shared SSL certificates are exactly what they sound like: Shared.
You will normally find shared SSL’s are supplied by web hosts for their customers to use. They tend to have a generic name and as such your domain won’t be displayed when this type of shared SSL is in use. Web hosts do tend to offer these for free.
You can also attach your website to someone elses SSL certificate. However, this does mean that when a visitor to your website wants to check the authenticity of your site the SSL of your website and the name on the certificate will not match. Who ever owns and purchased the certificate will have his or her details shown. In most modern browsers this will normally cause the browser to show an error page warning the person not to continue.
Please note that you can’t “just use” another website’s SSL. The system would have to be set up to use it.
Another issue will arise if you wish to change your website host. The likelihood of being able to transfer you websites SSL protection with you may not be possible.
Wildcard SSL certificates
If your website has what is called sub domains e.g.: customer.mysite.com or secure.mysite.com and you wish for them to be protected with your SSL certificates then you would need a wildcard SSL to guarantee that all your sub domains are all secure. A wildcard SSL will allow you to protect unlimited subdomains with just the one SSL.
If you don’t need to secure multiple subdomains and now exactly what subdomains you need it may be cheaper to have these added to a normal SSL certificate. Any reputable SSL supplier/reseller will advise you of this.
You should also remember that the market leading SSL suppliers secure mysite.com and http://www.mysite.com by default with their standard certificates. You would not need a wildcard certificate just to secure the www subdomain.
Free SSL certificates
It is possible to get free ones but please note that you get what you pay for and a free SSL certificate may not be as secure as a paid version. Free SSL’s do not always have the necessary level of encryption or service to keep your website secure that the paid for certificates have.
Another thing to consider is be careful where you obtain a free one from as they may not be legitimate and may only cause more harm than good!
There are some very reputable companies that offer free ones but just keep it simple and do your research.
It is also possible to get free trial certificates from most SSL suppliers. These certificates are fully functional certificates but are time limited to between 30 and 60 days.
When shopping for a SSL another thing to think about is the level of security offered. Industry standard at present is the 128 bit encryption and and increased level of 256 bit encryption is also available. Many certificates will automatically encrypt at the higher level if it is possible. For obvious reasons the higher the bit encryption number, the better the security the SSL certificate will provide.