In today’s digitally connected world, millions of online transactions happen every day. A Secure Sockets Layer or an SSL has been very instrumental in securing consumer data in these transactions. Though very few may understand SSL security features but it is necessary to understand the difference between HTTPS vs HTTP. The padlock icon and the websites that begin with https (instead of http), have become synonymous with secure websites. An SSL certification to a website is a validation that the customer data is protected from fraudulent activities. Thus, it has has been providing the security that enables organizations to offer a trusted environment to its customers. Not just customer data, but SSL have been protecting business-critical information such as intellectual property and employee data. So much is the need that, regulatory authorities like the Payment Card Industry (PCI) have made it mandatory to have an SSL certificate.
Before you decide where to buy SSL certificate, let us first understand what SSL is and how it protects data from being siphoned off for fraud and fraudulent activities. SSL is a standard security technology that enables organizations to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a client. This makes it impossible for attackers to intercept the data flow (between a web server and a client) and use the information. Simply put, SSL encrypts the transmitted information thus protecting user’s personal data and browsing habits.
There are numerous benefits of switching to HTTPS. One of its biggest endorser has been Google as they believe an SSL certification protects the domain from “eavesdroppers”. Google in its dedicated ‘HTTPS website migration guide’ has clearly stated that data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), thus the data cannot be altered or rerouted without being detected. To take their support for HTTPS a step further, the company also stated that HTTPS websites will get preference in their search listings – HTTPS sites are ranked higher than others. Switching to HTTPS may thus give you a small boost in ranking today and possibly a larger boost in the future.
|Encryption Layer enabled||No encryption layer|
|Data protection||No protection from attackers|
|Ranking Boost with Google||No ranking boost|
|Protection against Phishing||Easy to replicate and thus vulnerable to phishing|
|Leveraged to gain customer trust||Website safety cannot be leveraged|
|Payments Card Industry Compliance||Non-compliance with Payments Card Industry regulation|
|Maybe slower to load only in the initial phases||Faster site to load|
|Needs Testing after conversion to HTTPS||No testing time and cost|
|Certification and Validation have costs associated with them||No certification / validation cost|
|Post validation redirection needed as a one-time activity||No redirections or relinking required|
|Chrome user friendly||Chrome users get a notification about “unsecured site”|
A freshly created HTTPS link may not show Google traffic, this is because Google still only recognizes the HTTP site. To overcome this, you need to re-add the new website to Google Webmaster Tool and submit the new site map as well in the listings. A quick test should throw bugs that can be fixed to ensure traffic.
Switching from HTTP to HTTPS can be a daunting task for new companies; however, the merits are limitless. SSL has changed the Web forever by making it a safer place for you, and your customers’ personal information. It is best to get an expert on board to help you with the transition. This will allow you to focus on your core activities while getting an SSL certified domain in the market that is trustworthy in your consumers’ mind.
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