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What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do You Need it?

An SSL certificate is essential for both your website and its security, and if you’re unsure what one is or how it could affect you – read on.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and an SSL certificate creates a secure connection between a client and a server. The certificate uses two keys to encrypt data – a public one and a private one, making it more secure.

Websites that have ‘https’ in the address bar have valid SSL certificates, and it means that information shared within the website is, as a general rule, secure.

The most important thing to know about SSL certificates is, if you’re running a business, you’re going to need one.

From the start of this year, January 2017, Google started to classify websites that do not have SSL certificates as being ‘non-secure’; this means that if your website collects information such as passwords, cookies, or payment details it is vital to ensure that you get an SSL certificate if you don’t have one, or to make sure it is updated if it you already do.

Google has taken this step due to as the need to make web users more aware of their security, and also partly due to the ‘http’ address being seen as a neutral indicator of a website’s security – and the fact that web users can become de-sensitized to warnings about site’s lack of security.

Even if your site does not collect sensitive information, Google strongly recommends adding an SSL certificate to your site, as all browsing information can be altered or corrupted by third parties or intruders, in the process of downloading data between your website and the browser of your user(s).

Therefore, the certificate is essential not only to maintain your website and brand integrity, but also to protect the information of your customers – potential or otherwise.

While your website’s integrity is of the upmost importance, the final reason to obtain an SSL certificate is that it is also essential for updating new browser features, in particular, progressive web apps which integrate desktop browsing experiences with their mobile counterparts as the internet of computers and mobile phones begin to assimilate and become more uniform.

These reasons should be enough for you to serious consider the security and integrity of your website.

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