With South Africans growing more savvy about the importance of online security and more fearful of cybercrime, no small business can overlook the importance of SSL for its website.
Without the reassuring presence of the familiar padlock symbol in the URL bar as a sign of SSL security, you may lose online visitors and shoppers. Let’s take a closer look at what SSL security is and why it is so important.
What is SSL security?
Don’t be afraid of the TLA (three letter acronym) – SSL is simpler than it sounds. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, a technology used to validate the security on your website. When someone lands on your SSL-protected website, your SSL certificate automatically creates a secure, encrypted connection with their browser.
Once the connection is complete, a padlock icon and the https prefix appear in the browser bar to show visitors to your website that it’s safe to browse, shop, e-mail you, and subscribe to your mailing list. SSL certificates validate your website’s identity, and encrypt the information visitors send to, or receive from your site. This keeps thieves from spying on exchanges between you and your shoppers.
Your site is most secure when SSL is deployed on all pages and subdomains. Here are some of the advantages of SSL:
- Gain customer trust.
- Make the ‘Not Secure’ warning disappear.
- Enhance your SEO rankings.
- Compliance with regulations and standards.
- Safe online payments.
Let’s explore these benefits in more detail:
1. Gain customer trust
We all know people buy from companies they feel they can trust, those with a recognisable brand or a solid presence in the world. But how can you show people they can trust you without them being able to step into a store or have a reassuring conversation with someone on the phone?
How can you demonstrate that your website is secure, that you are who you say you are, and that there is no one in the middle waiting to intercept the customer’s data?
Having authenticated SSL security helps establish trust between your customer and your business on the World Wide Web. An SSL certificate strengthens your online brand and increases user confidence by showing them you have secured your identity online after being validated by an industry-recognised Certificate Authority. It also indicates to customers that your organisation is committed to protecting their data and online experience.
2. Make the ‘Not Secure’ warning disappear
When you’re browsing the internet and your browser comes up with a warning telling you that a site is ‘Not Secure’, how do you respond? Do you whip out your credit card to buy whatever they are selling or fill in their contact form with your personal info? Probably not – you’ll probably close the browser tab immediately.
Most browsers today will flag a website without SSL as ‘Not Secure’, and if that applies to your business, you are probably scaring away potential customers. But when you have a GoDaddy SSL certificate in place, any potential ‘Not Secure’ warning goes away for as long as you have the SSL certificate.
3. Enhance your SEO rankings
Search engines like Google reward https-encrypted websites by pushing them higher in search results.
You probably know how hard it can be to get your site higher in the search engine rankings. Don’t handicap yourself by neglecting the importance of SSL security. It could be the difference between a potential customer finding your site or not.
4. Compliance with regulations and standards
As a small business owner, you face a long string of data protection and privacy regulations, standards and laws. An SSL certificate provides the strongest protection for online businesses, including compliance with standards and regulations such as PCI-DSS, POPI, GDPR and more.
5. Safe online payments
Give customers the payment options they prefer and keep them shopping through checkout. To do that safely and securely you’ll need an SSL certificate, the industry standard for end-to-end encryption protocol to stop hackers from getting to your sensitive data. In fact, many payment gateways will not process transactions on your site unless SSL security is in place.
How to get HTTPS on your website
To get HTTPS on your website, you need to buy and install an SSL certificate, which you can buy from GoDaddy. The method you use to install your SSL certificate will depend on how your website is created. If you’re using Website Builder from GoDaddy, or GoDaddy managed WordPress, your SSL will be installed automatically.
If your website was created in some other way, you can use this guide to help you install your SSL certificate.
Secure your website ASAP
Whether it’s to improve SEO, protect data, build trust or even maintain leads, having an SSL certificate is a necessity for any website in South Africa. GoDaddy offers SSL certificate options for all kinds of websites and website owners (even those without any technical prowess). Don’t wait to sign up for encryption protection.