Very often we come across websites that have https added before the domain name instead of http. The extra ‘s’ indicates that the website is secure by having an added security layer called SSL or Secure Socket Layer. If you notice you would also see that there is a Padlock icon and a green bar that shows up.
So what is this SSL, why is it needed and who needs it? SSL is an extra layer of security that you can add to your website to safeguard your customers information that they submit on your website. It encrypts the customers data so if a hacker can somehow hack into your website he cannot make use of the customer and other data because it is in encrypted form.
With increasing security threats online concerning credit card theft, identity thefts etc., this is a must have if your website stores customer information and has ecommerce. Lately Google is also suggesting webmasters to have the SSL security for all types of websites and apparently is giving preference to sites that are more secure in ranking.
There are different types of SSL:
Extended Validation: This is for the highest level of security that you need and covers the standardized Extended Validation guidelines. Latest web browsers indicate the use of Extended Validations by turning the url address bar into green color and showing the company name. The company name shows because it is validated by Certification authorities who checks and validates all the details of the company.
Organization Validation: This is next level of security which also shows the company name and is validated by Certification authorities.
Domain Validations: This is the most basic and fastest way to get SSL as it is issued almost immediately without having to submit the company details. Since the company information is not validated it does not show the company name.
So to summarize, Secure Socket Layer helps websites in the following way:
- Makes them secure by encrypting information submitted on the website.
- Gives confidence to customers that their information will stay safe if they use the website. Especially where they have to use their credit cards. When you buy SSL you get a security icon that says your website is secure which you can prominently display on your website. Of course the URL also indicates that your site is safe with an added ‘s’ and the padlock icon.
- Search engines like Google are said to give more preference to secure sites that have ssl.