SSL Certificates and Data Encryption

Website Security | St. Petersburg Florida | SSL Certificate Installation

Does My Website Need An SSL? 

When we design and build websites, there are a lot of details to consider regarding functionality. However, when it comes to keeping your website secure, we don’t take any chances. If your website is designed to collect any data from site visitors, you absolutely need an SSL Certificate encrypt any data that is sent to your server, such as contact information, credit cards or passwords. If you want to learn more about website security and SSL Certificates, please feel free to call Cosmic Digital Design at (727) 462-5587 or use the contact form below.

Cosmic Digital Design SSL Certificate Data Encryption
Example of an error message from a website not protected with an SSL certificate. SSL data encryption allows encrypted data to be transferred from web servers to web browsers and protects your website.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Internet technology loves all things acronyms. SSL Certificates are no exception. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and is the industry standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure between two web servers. When information is passed from one server to the other, the SSL certificate makes the data unreadable to any online criminals that could potentially intercept the data and use it for malicious purposes.

It does this by using encryption technology that scrambles the data being transferred between the two parties making it impossible to read by hackers or scanning software used by online criminals. Data that is scrambled can be personal information sent from a contact form to credit card details.

When an SSL Certificate is installed, a lock icon will appear in the url field in your browser and is preceded by the “https://…” before the website domain name. The initials https stands for “hyper text transfer protocol secure”. When you click this area of the url field in the browser, you can view the security certificate details including the issuing authority and when it expires.

An SSL Certificate can range in price from about $50 per year to $400 per year depending on the level of security needed. For websites hosted by Cosmic Digital Design, your standard SSL Certificate is free. However, if we need to install a certificate on a third party server, a fee can be expected. For most websites, a standard level certificate will suffice. If your online business works with a high level of financial data or transactions, a higher level certificate may be required.

Reasons for having an SSL Certificate installed on your website:

An SSL Keeps Your Website Safe and Secure

SSL data encryption technology encrypts data as it passes from the website servers to your web browser. It basically prevents any sensitive data like credit card numbers and passwords from being copied by online criminals and hackers. The certificate serves as an electronic document containing the certificate’s serial number, expiration date, certificate holder’s name and the signature of the SSL certificate issuing authority. When a user sends sensitive information to a website server, the user’s browser verifies the certificate in order to create a secure connection.

In 2017, Google started cataloguing websites that do not have an SSL certificate installed. If that website collects passwords of any kind, Google marks the site as “unsafe” or “not secure” to all of the website’s visitors.

An SSL Is Good For Your Search Engine Rankings

Google and others want to maintain a reputation for providing websites in search engine rankings that are safe and secure. So, they have started using the “https://…” as a signal for better rankings. As more websites get on board with SSL certificates, it will become increasingly important to have one. In fact, for this reason alone, it should be a must have element in any website design. As mentioned above, Cosmic Digital Design includes an SSL certificate with every website it builds.

An SSL Certificate Creates Trust Among Site Visitors

Your business doesn’t need to sell consumer goods and services in order for your website to be considered a safe and secure place to visit and interact online. If you want to show your site visitors that you respect their trust, an SSL certificate will go a long way to show you are keeping up with best practices in order to keep your website data safe.

The good news is, SSL data encryption is easy to implement and won’t break the bank. There are also different levels of SSL certificates to match the type of security you need. Whether you are a busy online store or a blog, there is an SSL for your project.

How to Install an SSL On My Website

So, in short, why do SSL certificates matter? Because they show your customers that your site is trustworthy and it is good for the ranking of your website on search engines.

If your site needs an SSL certificate, call Cosmic Digital Design today. As long as we have the necessary access points to your website, we can have an SSL installed in a matter of minutes. Use the contact form below or call our St. Petersburg, Florida website design studio at (727) 642-5587.