Which Websites Need to Use SSL?

At some point, every online business will need to look at the security of their website. From preventing against hacking attempts to storing user information and processing credit card transactions, strong website security is a must if you plan on staying in business.

A common way to improve the level of security for a website is to get an SSL certificate. SSL, short for “secure sockets layer”, is a way of encrypting information to keep it out of the hands of people who should not have access to it. For some websites, there is no choice but to use SSL. Others may want it, but may not need it.

Below are the types of sites that should use SSL.

eCommerce Sites

Almost every eCommerce site is going to need an SSL certificate. It is the responsibility of the merchant to keep their customers’ information safe. It is not uncommon for online criminals to hack into a site’s database to extract user information.

Stealing the names, addresses and credit card information of a site’s customer base is a common way to run an operation of identity theft and fraud. It is not only a major concern for any customers whose information has been stolen, but it can also bring down a company should they lack the necessary security protocols to prove they are worthy of safeguarding this type of sensitive information.

Some eCommerce sites that do not process their own transactions may not need an SSL certificate, but if they store any sort of user information, they should invest in one. Credit card information is the most sensitive, but personal information is also something that should be afforded a high level of protection.

Membership Sites

Any site with a log in form can be considered a membership site. Whether log in details are linked to financially sensitive information or not is irrelevant. Personal information like email addresses, names, birth dates etc, all of which are commonly required for access to membership sites, should be safeguarded, as alluded to above.

One major source of concern is that many users choose weak passwords, and then use them across the web. These passwords are associated with email accounts, bank accounts and any other number of sensitive log in locations.

While some sites use log in features that allow users to sign up with their Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts, it is still best to apply an SSL certificate for those who choose to use more traditional signup forms. The information typed into these forms should hopefully be protected by an SSL certificate.

SSL Is About Trust

Sites that do not encrypt information risk losing the trust of their customers. As the average internet user becomes more technologically savvy, they are beginning to look for these encrypted connections. Should they fail to see one, they may be less likely to complete a purchase or to sign up to a site. For this reason, it is imperative that any site owner who believes they need more security goes and gets the proper SSL certificate for their needs.

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