If you have an E-commerce website the answer is definitely YES – you need an SSL certificate!
Nowadays we often hear about cases of someone having their identity or credit card number stolen. Many of these incidents happen because websites don’t use SSL. Each website that is used for gathering and transmitting customer’s information should use an SSL certificate in order to guarantee the safety of this information.
Why do you need SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it is a method of encrypting data as it travels across the Internet to ensure that private information remains secure. Because of how Internet is designed, when users send private information to a website, it may go through a dozen of other servers and networks before reaching the destination. At this point any of them could intercept your customers’ information unless it is encrypted.
What kind of information needs to be protected
The rule of thumb is that you want to protect any information that could lead to monetary loss or legal consequences if privacy is compromised. Below are some examples of when you are advised to use SSL:
- You have user authentication (Passwords and Logins) to allow access to restricted information
- You process Financial Information (online orders, credit card numbers, bank accounts, etc.)
- You transfer or store sensitive data: Social Security Numbers, IDs, Birth Dates, License Numbers, etc.
- You work with any kind of Medical Information
- You work with any kind of Proprietary or Confidential Information, Legal Documents, Contracts, Client Lists, etc.
Some websites go as far as protecting entire Customer Account areas and all of sign-up forms used to collect information from customers.
How does SSL protect customers
SSL protects your online transactions and helps increase trust in your website in three essential ways:
- An SSL Certificate enables encryption of sensitive data during online transaction so it remains protected.
- The SSL Certificate is unique credential identifying the owner of the website.
- The identity of the certificate owner is verified before the certificate is issued so that your customers know that you are who you say you are.