Welcome back everyone. Would you ever go into a store that had a sign that said “This store is not secure”? Would you feel comfortable even shopping around, much less buying something from that store? Have you ever gone to a website that had the words “not secure” at the beginning of the address bar? Kind of the same thing. That “not secure” raises a lot of questions for me, like “What does not secure mean?” and “Is my personal information safe?” As a customer, seeing “not secure” in the address bar of a business website does not give me a great deal of confidence just navigating around the website much less buying something on the website. As a business owner, getting rid of the “not secure” should be a top priority, to make your customers feel safe and secure.
So what does SSL mean? Don’t worry if you are uncomfortable asking the questions–that’s what I’m here for. I hate that feeling when it seems like everybody else knows the answer, and I feel like a dummy asking the questions. I’ll ask and answer the questions for you so you are in the know!
What is a SSL Certificate
The “not secure” on a website address bar means that the website does not have something called an SSL certificate installed. SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer”. Now that you know that, you can go ahead and forget it. You’ll never need to know that again. It’s like knowing that wombats have square poop. Nice to know, but that fact won’t change my life at all. What you do need to know is what an SSL certificate is, what it does, and how do you get one. If you don’t have an SSL certificate on your website, the “not secure” phrase appears on your address bar, can make your customers feel unsafe.
So what does an SSL certificate do? In short, it protects your sensitive information on the internet. Kind of like licking and sealing an envelope before mailing a letter. Some of the information it protects can include login credentials, personal information such as your name, address and telephone number. It will also protect legal documents and medical records. These days, you must have an SSL certificate if you are intending to process credit cards through your website. Even if you don’t process credit cards on your website, you should still have an SSL certificate installed on your website.
It protects your information in two ways. First of all, it encrypts all of your information as it goes out over the internet. This is important because your message could certainly go through several computers before it reaches its intended destination. The second way it protects your information is by authenticating on the receiving end. This is a way to make sure someone isn’t pretending to be someone else and trying to get the information you are sending. You don’t want an imposter pretending to be your intended recipient then stealing that information. Having an SSL certificate will make sure that doesn’t happen.
How do I get a SSL certificate
You can usually get an SSL certificate from your website hosting provider. You will have to authenticate that you are owner of the domain If your web hosting provider says that they do not have the ability to install SSL, I would suggest you leave them immediately and find a reputable business with which to host your website.
At 212 Creative, we offer free SSL certificates with our hosting at 212creative.com. You can check us out right after you do a search for “Square Wombat poop”!
Check out other informative and fun articles by Uncle URL, including What is the difference between a URL and a domain name?, Why do I need Web Hosting? What is a Google Business Listing? Cookies-Ha! What are they good for? Ac-tu-ally something! How to protect yourself against malware in three easy steps and What is a DNS Record?