Internet security has increasingly become an area of concern for web users and site owners alike. This has led to a growth in the number of site owners acquiring an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. The certificate indicates that the connection between browser and server is encrypted, making it more difficult for hackers to steal information. Going into 2018, it is becoming even more important for all website owners to have an SSL certificate. Here's why.
HTTP sites are not secure. They are increasingly vulnerable to 'man in the middle' attacks by internet hackers. This is not simply an issue for larger businesses; hackers are aware that such businesses are heavily guarded against attacks. Consequently, it is more difficult and time consuming to illegally gain information from these websites. It also increases the long-term risk to the hacker, making it more likely that they get caught. As a result, smaller webpages are often seen as an easier target for hackers, and so many businesses would be well advised to take steps to encrypt their online communications.
The past year has witnessed an increase in preference, specifically from Google and Mozilla, for these encrypted HTTPS websites. In doing so, SSL certified sites are being given precedent in search results. For Google, this also involves the web address being marked with a green padlock and with the word 'Secure'. In the next few months, all sites operating via a HTTP address will be signalled to users as 'Not Secure'. The user will then most often be redirected back to the search results. Without the certificate, sites will find they are losing engagement and traffic as a result of the change.
The general public now have an increased general awareness of the need for online security. Recent events have highlighted this, with the UK Conservative Party's SSL certificate having expired on the 9th of January. The failure to renew resulted in those logging on to their site experiencing warnings over the lack of security, prompting well-spread media coverage of the mistake. Whilst having no SSL certificate will not have such a publicised impact on most other businesses, it demonstrates an increased public awareness over website safety and vulnerability. Having a green padlock and 'Secure' label over your web address will give users the sense of security needed to trust your site.
The growing consciousness of the vulnerability of HTTP sites, will eventually result in SSL encryption becoming the basic universal standard for all sites in 2018. Whilst originally designed for e-commerce sites handling personal information, such as credit card details, the next few months will see such encryption becoming the norm. This is in line with a general trend of increased personal security seen with the implementation of the GDPR in May this year. With many changes occurring throughout 2018 in relation to data security, it is vital for websites to maintain and improve their own levels of safety to protect both themselves, and their visitors data.
SSL certificates are becoming a necessity for all websites in 2018. Luckily, getting up to date with this form of online security can be quick and inexpensive. For assistance with your website, contact Hydra Creative at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on: 01142 509 578.
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