Alberon has always taken security extremely seriously. Many of our clients’ sites are used for ecommerce and many others collect sensitive data. You can’t be complacent or relax vigilance against cyber criminals.
To keep your website secure, you need layers of security in place to help defend against any online attacks. As part of this, you should consider purchasing an Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate.
1. SSL provides another layer of protection for your website
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) enables users to browse your website securely. It encrypts the data as it travels between the user’s computer and your website making it useless to hackers if they intercept it. Without HTTPS, websites transferring data (such as passwords and personal information) can be accessed by criminals and used for illicit activities.
To be able to create a HTTPS connection, a web server requires an SSL Certificate that you will need to purchase from a certified authority and install on the server. The certificate is normally valid for a year and needs to be renewed annually. Alternatively, speak to your hosting provider to find out if this is a service that they offer.
You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate installed by checking that the URL starts https:// and there is a green padlock (or tick if you are using internet explorer). These are both signs to show that the data will be encrypted, so users should tread carefully when using sites that don’t have that symbol.
Using websites without an SSL certificate is very risky for customers who use the same password for everything and for websites that take online payments and are passing credit card details unencrypted.
2. SSL can help safeguard your company’s reputation
If data is hacked via your insecure network, you could be held responsible, and the damage to your company’s reputation could be disastrous. An SSL certificate not only helps to protect your customers’ data, but also to maintain your customers’ trust and safeguard your reputation. You only have to look at the example of Tesco bank to appreciate the damage that it can do.
To date, Tesco Bank has paid out an estimated £2.5 million to 9,000 customers. Moreover, the bank disclosed that suspicious activity was tracked across 40,000 of its 136,000 current accounts over the evening of the 5-6 November, 2016.
Tesco put the money back but the fallout will be much greater. There is no doubt that many customers will be reconsidering their banking arrangements. Would you open a Tesco Bank account tomorrow? Apart from the damage to reputation and financial well-being, your company could also be held responsible for any data hack.
3. SSL can help improve your search ranking
Google recognises the importance of online security and, in their efforts to make the internet more secure, they are encouraging all websites to create a HTTPS connection. They have even started using SSL as one of their ranking factors. So not only does enabling HTTPS make your website more secure, it can also have a positive impact on your SEO performance.
A redirect can also be set up so that visitors visiting your previous URL will then be automatically be redirected to the new secure site. So if your site URL currently starts with http:// and you get an SSL certificate so it changes to https://, you won’t lose any traffic to your site, or any data from your Google Analytics reports.
More recently, Google also started alerting Chrome users by clearly marking HTTP webpages that are transferring sensitive data as ‘insecure’. The plan is to eventually to apply this alert to all pages without HTTPS. Is this the message you want visitors to get when they visit your website?