Let's start by explaining what an SSL certificate is and some of the scenarios that may well justify having an SSL Certificate.
SSL is an acronym for "Secure Sockets Layer" and adds a layer of security between your website and the user who is entering data on it. Once the user clicks on the submit button, the data that is sent is encrypted as it is sent across the internet to the web server when it is decrypted.
If you've ever bought anything online, it is highly likely you've probably used SSL without realising it, therefore being fully protected. Most web browsers display a padlock when you're viewing a site over SSL, so you know the connection is secure.
An SSL certificate is highly recommended and in certain circumstances, vital if you are requesting customer’s information through your website, if they are logging in, registering or even completing a contact form it is your responsibility to protect their information.
Let us look at some common scenarios:
1. My website is ecommerce and I collect credit card information to process
You would absolutely need an SSL to protect payment card information submitted by your customers
2. My website is ecommerce but I use a third party payment provider like PayPal, WorldPay or SagePay
While it is not essential and the payment provider is encrypting the payment card details they are still sending back unencypted data to your website, therefore, we would recommend that you have an SSL to fully encrypt the process.
3. My website allows customers to login or register
We highly recommend an SSL Certificate as this will encrypt data they submit on your website. An attacker would be able to see their username and password in clear text. This would allow someone else to impersonate your customer, but it allows for a far more dangerous possibility. Users often use the same password on many sites (including their bank accounts), an attacker can potentially compromise many other accounts. If you let people store a password with you, you must take responsibility for protecting it, even if the security of your own site isn't critical.
4. I don't have any customer interaction (forms) on my website
You would not need an SSL certificate as you are not required to encrypt any data.
Other Features Of SSL certificates
Your website will rank higher. Google recently announced they are promoting website in their search results if it has an SSL Certificate, more details here: https://www.pebbleltd.co.uk/blog/posts/secure-websites-now-ranking-higher-in-google
Your customers feel more secure if they see it is a secure website (by seeing the padlock) and you can gain their trust whilst on your website.
Speak to Pebble today about applying an SSL Certificate to your website, you can contact us by telephone on 01733 902070 or email us via our contact form