Yes, your website needs an SSL. Both Google and your customers will benefit when you install an SSL.
SSL is the way of the future. Starting in July, Google will start severely penalizing sites that don’t have SSL installed. Currently, any websites that lack SSL and require user data (logins, online payments, etc.) feature a warning in the address bar saying “Not Secure” when users load the site on Google Chrome. But come summertime, every site without SSL – whether they process user data or not – will have that blaring warning when using Google Chrome.
Google is pushing SSL more and more heavily, including non-secured sites being punished in Google rankings, and we strongly recommend that all of our clients adapt to the change to avoid this issue. We often have clients who ask why they should incorporate SSL, so we wanted to break down a little more thoroughly the categories of websites that really, really need to install SSL.
What is an SSL?
As a quick overview, an SSL is a way that you encrypt and protect sensitive data being passed through your site. It helps keep any information that could possibly be intercepted from being useful to the person taking it.
Do I need an SSL?
This is a fairly simple question to answer. Yes. (Refer back to this article)
The long answer is especially yes if you:
- Have an ecommerce site
- Collect credit card numbers
- Take personal information
- Have users login with a username and password anywhere on the site
Ecommerce sites and credit card numbers typically go hand in hand, so for the most part, every ecommerce site should have an SSL installed. Even if your site processes credit cards through a third party (like PayPal), it still helps instill trust in your users if they see that your site is protected. Customers will be much more apt to purchase something through a site if there’s a little green lock in the top of the address bar.
Credit Card Information
This is fairly straightforward. If you’re taking credit card numbers, even if they aren’t being processed immediately, you’ll want to encrypt. No one is happy waking up to a bank statement full of purchases they never made, and if they find out that it was potentially your site that leaked that information, they most likely won’t be happy with you.
So if you take any kind of credit card information, make sure you have an SSL installed.
Not all personal information has to be protected by an SSL. Information like name, phone number, address and email are public and typically easy to obtain, but it’s still nice for your users to have a little peace of mind knowing that their information is protected when they submit forms. An SSL is a good idea in those cases. And if you’re collecting information that’s a little more private, such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, birthdays, security question information, or anything else that shouldn’t be accessible to outsiders, you definitely need an SSL.
As a side note, if you’re working with any information protected by HIPAA regulations, you do need an SSL, but you also need to follow a host of other protocols.
If people are logging into your site, or if you’re capturing their usernames or passwords for any other reason, then you need an SSL. People don’t want their login information stolen, so making sure that information is as secure as possible should always be a priority.
How Can I Install an SSL?
The team at Infomedia will be happy to help with your site’s security. Click here to read more on SSL and how we can assist your installation.