When I speak to my in-laws about shopping online, they look at me like I have a second head. “Shopping online isn’t safe!” they exclaim. “Don’t you know that Anonymous Hackers will steal your money and sell your PII (personally identifiable information) on the Dark Web if you do that?”
While that second part may be hyperbole, my in-laws do think shopping online isn’t safe. They live in a world where they don’t trust websites to be able to handle financial or personal information. It’s understandable, as there are countless stories about websites being hacked and information stolen. Fortunately, though, there’s a resource available that can protect financial and personal data. That resource? A 128-bit SSL encryption certificate.
What is 128-bit SSL?
128-bit SSL is an encryption standard that’s used to keep user information private. When you submit information via a website, there’s a digital hand shake that compares private encoded keys to confirm a legitimate exchange. With 128-bit encryption there are 339,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations that the key could be. Needless to say, a hacker would need to have a super computer or extreme luck to crack that code.
128-bit SSL is generally the standard that most major sites and financial providers use in order to protect information. If you go to Google, Facebook, Baidu, or Capital One, the information is all secured using 128-bit. The technology is highly regarded worldwide and is a perfect fit for your website, no matter the content.
SEO Benefits to SSL Encryption
Google gives a boost to sites using 128-bit SSL. For the past three years their algorithm includes verification of an SSL certificate. As a result 40% of search results on page one are HTTPS. Also, the Chrome browser flags a site without SSL as being insecure, which will deter potential visitors. While safety and security for your users should be the paramount reason for adding SSL, a nice SEO bump is a little bonus to making the move.
A Cheap Bodyguard
We’ve told you why encryption is important, but you may be thinking, “Gosh. Security certificates have to be expensive, right?” The honest answer is no. GoDaddy offers single site certificates for $55.99 for the first year ($69.99 after), while spots like Namecheap offer certificates for as low as $9. The bottom line is that there is really no reason why your site shouldn’t have a certificate, especially if you’re having users submit information. Comodo is another big player in the SSL game, and they actually have options for free certs – read more on that here.
Are SSL Certificates Required for Sites Processing Financial Transactions?
If your site is processing financial transactions, a SSL certificate is a must-have. While there is no law stating that a website conducting financial transactions is required to implement SSL encryption, it would be foolish not to. The fact of the matter is that you have an obligation to keep your customer data secure. If you neglect to do so, you are jeopardizing the personal and financial information of your customers, which ultimately affects the well-being of your business.
Additionally, you are likely costing your company money in the form of lost business. An infographic put up by marketing group Blue Corona discloses that 84% of users would not finish a transaction if they knew their financial data wasn’t being protected. Think about that for a moment: More than 4 out of 5 people wouldn’t do business on your site if you don’t secure their information. Encryption is something you need, especially if you conduct financial transactions.
What We’ve Learned
It is imperative to invest in an SSL certificate. In addition to providing peace of mind to your visitors, you also get a SEO boost, a defense against hackers, and a little more sleep at night knowing your site and data are more secure.
When you purchase an SSL certificate, you need to be aware that they do expire. Letting a certificate lapse can result in some browsers telling users your site isn’t safe; it might look like something nefarious is going on, which will inevitably harm traffic.
If the SSL process seems too scary, Den Web Design has you covered. In addition to building great websites and conducting efficient SEO operations, we can set you up with a certificate. While we’re at it, we’ll even ensure that the certificate never lapses and that your readers are secure.