SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, encryption is the most commonly used method of encrypting web pages. It ensures that any personal data or often payment details entered into a website is safe from being accessed by unauthorised parties. Thus, it is very useful for any website that sells products to people through an online payment system (see our article on ecommerce) to have SSL encryption.
Websites that are encrypted using SSL can be identified in several ways. Firstly, the prefix of their web address is usually “https://”, signifying that they operate over a secure server. Also, the website can be identified as secure by the fact that there is a padlock symbol in your browser’s status bar. If neither of these signs is present, then the website is insecure and it is not advisable to put sensitive personal information into that website as it may be possible that an unauthorised third party could obtain access to the data.
Protecting your website using SSL encryption is definitely a practice that we recommend to all webmasters who regularly ask their visitors to input sensitive information. Of course, the most obvious benefit to you as a webmaster is that it ensures that all of the data that your customers enter is safe, secure and inaccessible to anyone other than those who are authorised to have access to it.
Encrypting your webpages in this way ensures that you, as a webmaster, have peace of mind and know that the data provided by your customers is secure and protected against unauthorised access.
As well as the peace of mind for you, the fact that there are visible signs of how secure your website is means that customers will feel more comfortable. If they can visibly tell that your website has a layer of security protecting it, then they will be far more likely to input their details and thus they will be more likely to buy products from you online.
This in turn means that you will earn more money and sell more products, which is exactly what any online business wants. SSL encryption for your website will definitely pay for itself after a very short time indeed, making it a worthwhile investment for the security-minded webmaster.
Reputation is another aspect of your web presence than can be improved by adding SSL encryption. If your website asks people to enter payment details, then it cannot be reputable unless it is secure. A website that is clearly secure will instantly have a better reputation than one which appears to be wide open for cybercriminals.
So to conclude, in this security conscience online age, SSL encryption is something that is definitely worth the investment for your website. Without the padlock symbol, potential customers will not have enough confidence to input their sensitive personal information into your website and thus they cannot purchase any of your products. However, the addition of encryption quickly puts their minds at rest and soon your SSL encrypted website will have the customers flying in.