You hear about it every day. Someone gets hacked, someone’s website wasn’t secure and information was stolen. Digital warfare is running rampant in so many different forms these days its hard to keep track. Your website is no different from any other website out there. If you are not careful you will be susceptible to attacks just like major businesses.
Lets take a look at one of the first things you can do to help secure your website, purchasing an SSL Certificate. Its quite simple to purchase an SSL Certificate implementing it is a little bit more complicated and requires some technical ability. Contact 45Squared if you need help implementing your SSL Certificate.
This article isn’t about buying an SSL Certificate or implementing one. We can save that for another time. We want to talk about why you should have an SSL Certificate and what it does! If you can say yes to any of the following questions you should have an SSL Certificate.
- Do you have a user login?
- Do users submit personal information?
- Do you have credit card submissions?
- Are SSN or other private information is submitted?
- You run an e-commerce website
These examples cover the most broad possibilities of requiring an SSL Certificate. If you answered yes to any of them and do not have an SSL Certificate then you should research purchasing an implementing one.
So what does an SSL Certificate do? A great question! The short answer is that when implemented SSL encrypts the traffic between the user and the web server. If the traffic is intercepted by someone that is not supposed to have it it will be completely unreadable which keeps the users information safe. This whole process is called the SSL Handshake and follows a few simple steps
This is the most important part of having an SSL Certificate implemented correctly on your web server. Protection. After all we started off talking about being secure. So what does SSL protect you from? Perhaps it would be easier to start off from what it does not protect you from.
On Computer or On Server Security
This means that just because you are visiting a website through a secure connection that your computer is safe. You are still able to receive viruses, malware, ransomware and spyware from the website. On the other side an SSL Certificate does not protect a server from attacks. Server attacks are usually much more aggressive than that of a desktop and can create many problems for businesses. This is why companies should be sure to have someone well versed in internet and network security managing their web server(s). If you are unsure about what practices your company employs for server and computer security it might be time to ask your IT Department or server administrators.
So if SSL doesn’t protect your computer or your server what does it protect? Simple,
SSL encrypts data sent to and from a remote server which we covered above. In an article by The Economist, it has been decided that the worlds most valuable resource is no longer oil but, data. Large companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Twitter and more know so much about you as a person just through your online data. Thankfully these companies are well versed in security practices. However, no company is truly ever safe from all threats as new ones appear every day in the world wide web. The best security practice is that of common sense. If it seems to good to be true or seems unsafe it probably is.
You should have an SSL Certificate if you answered “Yes” to any of the questions we proposed above. The biggest reason is to keep your users safe! A safe user is a happy user. If they are transmitting their information to you, keep it safe. Data is after all, the most valuable resource on the planet now.