There has been a lot of news lately about protecting our privacy online, major websites being hacked and data stolen. As a small business, you may not have given much thought to how your website interacts with visitors. You may have heard about SSL and encrypted data, but thought it didn't apply to you as you aren't e-commerce.
What is SSL, anyway and do you need it?
SSL stands for Secured Sockets Layer and appears in your browser window as https://www.yourwebsite.com instead of http://www.yourwebsite.com. Basically, it’s how you communicate with customers so they can browse, buy products or services, and share information safely with you online.
But, you don't sell products online, so you don't need SSL, right?
Wrong. Do you have a newsletter signup on your website? Do you have a contact form? Do you have a member area of your website that is password protected? Any information you collect from your visitors should be done in a secure environment.
Last fall Google announced that it would begin warning visitors if they visit a website that is NOT secure. This is due to go into effect with the release of Google Chrome 68 in July. So, even if you don't use Chrome, many of your website visitors do and may be scared away from entering your website. Apparently, other browsers (Firefox, Safari) will be following suit soon as well.
One more reason to act now is that Google may downgrade your page rank if you continue to use an unsecured server.
So, how do I get an SSL certificate and what does it cost?
You can contact your web developer for assistance or your web host. If you used a DIY service like Wordpress, Weebly, Wix or SquareSpace, there is an easy free fix. The cost for an SSL certificate ranges from about $60 to $150/year.
Liz Provo, Mass Marketing Resources.