The Importance of SSL Certificates for Small Business Websites

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The Importance of SSL Certificates for Small Business Websites

SSL certificates are a must for online security. Check out this post to explore the necessity of security protocols and SSL certificates in small businesses.

· Security Zone ·
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"Ignorance is bliss" — one might be inclined to agree with this statement, seeing the amount of misery and calamities taking place in the world every day, every minute, every second. But, if you are an owner of a small business website or work for such a company or organization, these words couldn’t be more far off from the truth. The world of the Internet is getting nastier and more dangerous with each passing day.

There has been a significant upsurge in the number of hacking attempts intended at websites both big and small. Unfortunately, the perpetrators are getting smarter every day. They have started using new methods, such as crypto-ransomware and spear-phishing, which makes the job of protecting your business even more difficult.

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But, as they say, ‘there is always a light at the end of the tunnel." Here, that light comes in the form of a certificate. Yes, you heard that right! A certificate is all it takes.

These certificates are called Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. They were primarily created with the aim to secure communication between a user’s web browser and a website’s server. SSL certificates come with a cryptographic key, which turns the delicate information sent by the users in the form of hypertext into an unreadable format. This is called encryption.

As a result, if you have an SSL certificate installed on your web server, data, such as credit card details, are out of reach from any attacker's hand.

Why Do Small Businesses Need SSL Certificates?

Whether you are a month-old baby startup or a well-established giant in your industry, web-security is an issue that should not be undervalued at any cost. The number of hacking attempts are escalating at an alarming rate. Small businesses are an easy target by for cybercriminals, as they don’t always take web security seriously, much less have the budget for massive security implementations. As a result, it becomes a matter of cherry-picking for the hackers to attack sites with nearly no protection. It is not a surprise that 43 percent of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses.

Here’s a jaw-dropping fact for you: 60 percent of small companies shut down within 6 months of a cyber-attack. Yes, you heard it right! These perpetrators have the capability to bury businesses. Yet, many organizations undervalue the importance of online security.

Let’s face it — as a small business, not many people out there trust you. In fact, not many people know about you. So, it is of extreme importance to lay a foundation of trust with your potential customers. Security is a major consideration for online users. A survey showed that 69 percent of users seek signs, such as trust symbols, to assure them of their security — and that’s a conservative study. Many others give a much higher figure. These customers don’t hesitate to abandon purchases after seeing the website is not secure enough. In fact, they might not visit your site ever again.

If you had installed an SSL Certificate on your site, your website would have been equipped with visual indicators, such as a green address bar or green padlock. When visitors see those indicators, the customer conversion rates on your website are bound to go skyward, consequently, stimulating your revenues.

The first, and arguably the most difficult, problem that any business faces from its inception is the problem of discovery. In an age of cut-throat competition, no business idea is unique. A customer gets a countless number of choices for the exact same thing. As a result, you must stay one step ahead of the rest. Improving your search engine ranking is a terrific way to do so. Back in 2014, Google announced that ‘HTTPS' websites will have an upper hand in terms of rankings compared to non-encrypted sites. Thus, having an SSL certificate installed on your server will get people to see your business, which is a kind of a big deal.

SSL Certificates: an Absolute Must for Online Businesses

"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it," said Benjamin Franklin. If you have an online business or aspire to have one, you should engrave these words on a stone. If your website faces a hacking attempt, its news might spread quicker than a wildfire, leaving a huge dent in your reputation. Techniques, such as identity theft and phishing attempts, are getting common these days, as they are easy to fall upon. Having a safeguard against such attacks is always a good option to have. For such attacks, an SSL certificate has become a must for online businesses. Hence, you better be equipped with one!!

encryption, https, security, ssl, ssl certificate

Published at DZone with permission of Jake Adley . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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