By now you may well have heard the words “SSL certificates”, but do you know what those two words really mean? Well, if you’re still a bit confused or perhaps feel completely in the dark, this is the post for you. We have the complete story behind SSL certificates and what they mean exactly.
WHAT IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
An SSL certificate is simply a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information that is sent over the Internet so that it remains secure. When a site is delivered over SSL the domain name will start with https:// whereas an unsecured website will start with http://. Depending on the browser used you might also see a small notice or padlock icon to show that the website is considered secure and a safe place for users to visit.
HOW DOES SSL MAKE THINGS SAFER?
SSL is used to secure data that is transmitted over the Internet between a computer and a server. With SSL all information that is transmitted becomes encrypted so that it is completely unreadable to anyone and anything except the intended server. This makes data sharing and online payment methods far more secure.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO GET AN SSL CERTIFICATE NOW?
Security has always been a top priority for Google and they invest heavily in industry-leading security for that reason. This means that Google doesn’t want to send their users to websites that give them malware or allows “bad people” the opportunity to steal private data. Therefore, for their own business’ sake, they want their users transferred to safe sites with good content where they know their users will have the best experience. So, to encourage a safer Internet for all, Google has made SSL essential for the ranking of all websites.
Basically, if you’re not secure they’re not going to rank you as high, so you’re not going to turn up in their result pages.
Another thing to be aware of is that some browsers are now displaying some really nasty warnings to warn visitors that a site is not considered safe. This is designed to put visitors off using that website, especially if their intention is to use a payment method.
HOW DO YOU GET AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
If you are already a member of theimagefile then you will be entitled to a free SSL security certificate. However, there are a few conditions:
- Your domain name needs to be set up correctly so that it is pointing to the server using DNS. If you need to re-point your website you will most likely have already heard from us via email, however, you will be receiving more reminders about this over the coming weeks.
- If you are integrating theimagefile into an external website with a sub-domain then your main site must also have an SSL certificate.
- Your website needs to have all widgets also linking to SSL websites.
If you need help with any of the items above then just let us know and we will do whatever we can to help. The most important thing is that you start acting now by getting items sorted so that you can benefit from the security and search engine boost.
Please take this seriously. Your website rank will still depend on the page content displayed to your visitors but also on how you deliver that content to users.