You’ve created your website. You’ve found your domain, created your first few pages, and you’re ready to display it to your eagerly waiting customers. Have you thought about an SSL certificate? You don’t need an SSL certificate for your website, unless of course you want a secure website. An SSL certificate is a Secure Sockets Layer. Basically, SSL is a promise to your customers that you are protecting them from the internet. They can safely browse, buy from you, and share information on your site without fear of being hacked.
More and more often we see news reports of customer information being stolen. The internet is a place for criminals to steal whatever information they’re looking for. No website is too big or too small to be hacked, and no information too trivial to be stolen and sold. The use of SSL is crucial to protect whatever information flows through your site.
All SSL certificates are alike, but they differ in levels of authentication. The most basic, least expensive certificates are Domain Validated (DV) Certificates. These popular certificates can be quickly issues, and require only proof that the person registering the site is the domain owner. These provide low level authentication. The Organization Validated (or OV) certificate is the next level of authentication. A slightly more stringent certificate, this requires the vetting of the company requesting the certificate. It is a more expensive, more comprehensive but has a Light Business Authentication.
Stand out from your competition
The most premium, with a Full Business Authentication, form of the SSL is the Extended Validation (EV) certificate. These are the most prestigious certificates. The EV comes with the highly recognizable ‘green bar’ in the browser. This is the symbol of trust that has become the gold standard of the internet. These certificates require a thorough vetting process before they will be issued to a site. They require 3-5 days of vetting, are the most expensive SSL choice, and will reassure your customers more than any of the others. Sites with these certificates are trusted, are legitimate, and have proven their business to the government, and therefore, their customers.
Every business needs an SSL of some sort. The higher the protection, the stronger the trust your customers will give you. So if the question is, “Do I need an SSL?” The answer is always, “Yes.” You can have a cheap SSL (DV), an expensive SSL (EV), or a middle of the road (OV) certificate. The choice is yours, but leaving your website wholly unprotected is a risky business that may scare away potential customers from trusting your site. Do your business and your customers a favor and invest in an SSL. These are available from licensed internet vendors. If you are unsure of where to start, begin here. Secure your domain, your website, and your future reputation with your customers.