It seems like we get news about another hack that's disrupted some corporate or government entity every day. Sadly, this is the world we currently live in, and the effect is that consumers are becoming more cautious when shopping online (as they should be). Because of this, small business owners need to make sure their websites are secure, and be aware of the business risks that come with operating an insecure site.
When it comes to engineering a secure website, one of the first (and easiest) steps you can take is setting up a valid SSL Certificate.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and is used to establish encrypted communications between your device (computer, phone, iPad) and the website you're currently visiting. When an SSL Certificate is properly implemented, any information passed back and forth becomes much more difficult to be intercepted by prying eyes.
You can tell a website is properly secured when you see a padlock icon that's usually located in the top left corner of your browser. Another way to check is by making sure the website URL for the page you're currently viewing starts with 'https'. No 's' after 'http' means the page is not secure.
If your business website does not have a valid SSL Certificate, you should contact your web firm to fix it asap, then be sure to ask why they didn't set it up in the first place!
Think about a login screen on any website. If you happen to enter your username and password on a site that is not secure, you might as well be announcing your login credentials to the world. Hackers are consistently monitoring traffic for the transmission of sensitive information via insecure channels.
How SSL Affects Business
- Increases Consumer Trust - people notice when the websites they're visiting aren't secure.
- Good for SEO - search engines award secure websites with higher rankings in results when compared to insecure websites.
- Reduces Liability - having a secure website makes it more difficult for hackers to gain sensitive information from people visiting your website.
How to Become Secure
There are many ways to go about setting up an SSL Certificate for your website, but this is really something your web firm should take care of for you. If they're unable to help, it's time to start looking for a new web team.