SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an industry-standard security technology that can be used to encrypt the data transmissions sent between a hosting server and a web browser.
What is SSL?
This is an important security measure – especially when a site needs to transmit sensitive data such as credit card details or passwords – as it prevents the possibility of cybercriminals 'eavesdropping' on this data and intercepting it for their own malicious intent.
Until recently, SSL has only really been seen as essential for use on e-commerce websites, where the presence of a padlock icon in the browser's address bar has become a recognised indicator of an online store's trustworthiness. However, in an effort to help secure the entire web, Google has now signalled that it plans to start flagging up any non-SSL site as being insecure.
From January 2017, new versions of Google's Chrome browser will mark unencrypted web pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure. This is their first step in a long-term plan to mark all non-SSL sites as insecure – eventually displaying the red warning triangle that is currently reserved for broken SSL pages.
A non-SSL site in a browser marked with a red triangle[/caption]
How will it affect me?
Visitors seeing a security warning when browsing your site are likely to be discouraged from submitting their personal details, and could feel less confident about doing business with you in general.
As well as this visual indication, Google has also started to use SSL as ranking signal, which means that if your site is secure then it has a better chance of appearing higher up in the search engines. Although this difference might currently be marginal, Google is likely to strengthen it as it now starts to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
How can I get SSL ready?
If you need any assistance setting up SSL on your website, would like any further information or a free SSL check please get in touch.