What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate used is to encrypt traffic between systems, such as client and server. This is done to protect data that might include confidential information, Social Security numbers, and personal information.
SSL involves the use of a pair of the public (available to anyone) and private (exclusive to destination server) keys to handle the encryption and decryption process.
You might have come across the term TLS (Transport Layer Security) – a protocol that is an improved version of the SSL. The two terms are used interchangeably, but this article will use SSL, as it’s the more popular term.
Why Is SSL Important
Threats to data security and privacy keep increasing as more functions move online. If you own a business website, it’s no longer optional to have an SSL certificate. The main reason for this is to protect users from the man in the middle attacks. And it comes with SEO benefits, too. Search engines such as Google check site security as one of the essential factors in SEO ranking. Some web browsers like Chrome also alert users if a site is not secure – and this could keep some people away from your site.
Other benefits of an SSL certificate are that it serves as a proof of identity (authentication); it is an assurance of information privacy, and it also assures users of information integrity. This is especially crucial if your web application deals with financial or electronic commerce transactions.
SSL Best Practice
Although SSL is secure, attackers take advantage of installation and configuration loopholes to steal data. Because of such vulnerabilities, it’s not enough to install the SSL certificate.
Below are basic SSL best practices that will help ensure the security of data in transit.
There are two important points that you shouldn’t forget. One, SSLs are secure but also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited; therefore, ensure proper configurations and follow best practices. Two, lack of an SSL certificate affects your SERP ranking, which in turn affects your brand credibility and increases the site bounce rate.