What are SSLs and why are they important?

Google is always changing its algorithms and regulations to ensure the safest web experience for all users. You may have noticed a little https:// at the beginning of your web address line. What does that little “s” mean? Why is it so important? That little “s” is key to the future of the web. Here’s why.

What are HTTPS and SSLs?

HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Having the added level of “Secure” means that no one can listen in on your web surfing session. Any data that is sent over your connection is encrypted so that only the client and server can read it.

An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is purchased by a company in order to gain the HTTPS certification. This certificate contains the unique encryption key that the company will use to encrypt their secure information between visitors and their server.

Google and SSLs and their effect on the Web

Why are they so important?

It all goes back to security. In 2014, Google announced that they were going to start weighing the search results of sites that had HTTPS. In 2017, Google is continuing to make the transition to all sites being HTTPS. So many sites are being breached and information is being stolen that Google wants to ensure the safety of everyone’s information. The way they see it, there are three main reasons to switch to HTTPS:

  1. Authentication. Are you really who you say you are? Purchasing the SSL certificate is a means of digitally checking the ID of the website you’re about to visit.
  2. Data Integrity. It’s easy for your data to get rerouted to hackers and other third parties if the site you’re visiting isn’t secure, even for something as innocent as a contact form.
  3. Encryption. It’s all about the security of data sent between the client the server. This is very important for commercial and e-commerce websites.

What can I do to get up to date?

There single domain, multiple domains, and wildcard SSL certificates available. Your web host can point you in the right direction of the certificate that’s appropriate for your needs. Unfortunately, SSLs are not free. They can range in price from $100 a year to many thousands. Make sure you do your research.

Once you have your SSL installed, you will need to convert all links throughout the site to include https so that it is secure. Contact your webmaster to take care of this or contact us and we can help!