Google says that SSL is very important, here’s why
Why do I need an SSL certificate?
Google has recently started penalising websites without an SSL certificate in its search rankings, marking down sites that don’t implement the security protocol. But what is an SSL certificate and why does your website need one? Simply put… it’s for privacy and security reasons.
There are two protocols that are used for website data, HTTP and HTTPS.
HTTP is the oldest of the two and runs through port 80 sending packets of unencrypted data. This means that the contents of any request could potentially be read by intermediate devices — in short, a rogue device could intercept the data being sent over.
HTTPS is secured and encrypted so that the contents of your data transmission cannot be read and sensitive details are kept secure.
A website running on HTTPS is secured using an SSL certificate — this is then used to encrypt any communication between the website and users and is essential for a website that processes any card details as well as highly recommended for any data.
Running these same requests over HTTP exposes customer data during transfer.
HTTPS also takes advantage of newer versions of the HTTP protocol meaning secure websites are actually faster websites. Google’s ranking penalty is partially an attempt to move websites over to faster protocols, leading to a much better user experience overall.
How secure is https?
An SSL is really just a combination lock so it is theoretically possible to crack by trying every combination. However, a 256 bit SSL has 2256 combinations which is a significant number to attempt (78 digits in a row to be precise and that’s a lot of digits).
The amount of combinations required to achieve this is well beyond current computational power limitations — it would take the world’s most powerful supercomputer billions of years to brute force.
Customer confidence is also increased by having an SSL certificate on a website. An SSL certificate is essential for e-commerce but it also shows customers that you take the protection of their data seriously. The key take from this is that it builds trust in your business and that’s priceless.
Additional ‘extended verification’ is available which gives your site a green bar in the browser address bar. This can further help with customer confidence but it’s not strictly necessary, whether that’s from a financial or a security perspective.
SSL is a standard inclusion for each of the new sites we build — contact us today to upgrade your site security!