What is SSL? Secure Sockets Layer, simply put, is a security technology that is used for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The link established ensures that all the information and data that is transferred between the server and browser remains confidential and private. Those URLs that contain this security technology usual require the transmission of very sensitive and confidential information.

Typical URLs begin with http:// whereas those with the added SSL start with https://. Whenever you notice a URL sporting the extra ‘s’ you can be sure that your connection to that particular website is secure. Further explained, any information you choose to share with the website bearing an SSL certificate will be encrypted and safely shared with the website only.

SSL Explained

Whenever you visit an unsecure website (an URL without an SSL certificate) that requires you to provide sensitive and/or personal information, there is always the chance of your information being intercepted by a hacker. The type of information you provide matters not to a hacker. All that matters to a hacker is the simple fact that you have provided sensitive info which the waiting hacker can now intercept and retrieve. The most common type of attack by hackers is a hidden listening program that a hacker places on the server hosting the website you are visiting. Though the program is undetected and silent, once you begin inputting your data it activates the program which will capture all your data typed in and deliver it to the hacker. For a great “SSL CHEAT SHEET” see the article by firstsiteguide.com.

On the flip side of that, when you visit a website with an SSL certificate, any information provided is shared only with your browser and the website’s webserver. There are no additional connections or hackers that come between this bond which means only you and the website you are visiting can view and access your inputted data.

Benefits of SSL

Though the primary purpose of SSL is to secure information provided between a website visitor and the website, there are other benefits to websites sporting the SSL technology. For starters, SSL enhances SEO. According to Google, those websites using SSL technology are apt to receive a boost in Google rankings over those websites that do not utilize SSL. In addition, websites with SSL certificates offer faster connection times as well.

SSL also provides high levels of trustworthiness since these certificates are only issued by authorities when an applicant for an SSL certificate passes all the verification procedures. An SSL certificate also verifies domain validation and organization validation as well. Further, visitors to a site with an SSL certificate are more likely to keep coming back to the site since they recognize that all their personal data is being protected at all times.

When the latter occurs, online stores and businesses can expect shoppers to continue to visit their websites knowing full well their personal data is secured. If, however, your online store is absent an SSL certificate, many consumers will look elsewhere for online products in their efforts to purchase desired products while keeping personal data secured. So, another obvious benefit of SSL, is that it increases business sales and revenues over the long term.

In summation, if you are a business owner then surely an SSL certificate bears with it a wide range of benefits including increased traffic to your site, enhanced Google rankings, and increased sales over time. If, on the other hand, you are a consumer looking to purchase products or services, then surely you want to give favor to those websites that present with an SSL certificate. Again, your personal information is just that ‘personal’ and visiting or utilizing websites with SSL certificates is a sure fire way of protecting your sensitive data and overall confidentiality.

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