SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and is the industry de facto for securing communication between your inputs on the website and the server it sends that information too. It also stands to verify the identity of the website you are using by certifying it against certification credentials encrypted on the server. You know when a site is using SSL when a small padlock appears in the top left of your browser address bar, and the address starts with HTTPS. Theres a lot of detail within this for instance SSL versions went from 1-3 and then changed to TLS (Transport Layer Security ) v.1 however when talking about SSL and HTTPS people tend to always refer to is as SSL. Phew.
So far so James Bond. But surely if we are building a website without e-commerce capabilities this is not something to bother with? Well no, even if you are sure the website is legit, any fields where you input data such as email address signups, names, surnames is fair game to be intercepted or eavesdropped. Data is king and reaping it is the name of the game. Now if that wasn’t enough, we all have been given some more reasons to switch all websites to HTTPS.
Step forward Google and Mozilla. Firstly Google, giant of all things web, have in their omniscience, decreed that all websites & applications should be secured from the smallest to the largest. And in order that we pay attention, they handed us a small carrot to follow in their HTTPS footsteps by declaring improved search results through using the HTTPS protocol. Nice. Now don’t expect insane gains, in fact more likely your results will stay the same and your non HTTPS counterparts will slowly drop down…. and every little helps. So what of Mozilla, freedom fighters of the Firefox web browsing variety. They have started to implement a security highlight for all fields not protected by an SSL certificate. Kind of calling you out on your potential prospects saying hey this guy cant be trusted! Nice… not. But again it has our attention and should have yours. Google Chrome also naturally have their own version of this calling out by spelling out ‘Not Secure’, next to your website URL which is again pretty clear!
Now do we agree? Are we being forced into something that will cost us for little gain? Well i think the ideals are right, Google & Mozilla care about security, the onset of wide scale data hacking and intercepting prove this is more important than ever. By creating a minimum standard will only enhance the user experience for everyone online. And that is the real point the internet has grown from a hot mess without standards into something slick and user friendly, lets bring our security up to date and inline.
So now how do we switch from HTTP to HTTPS?
Well it’s pretty straight forward but a time consuming stage of steps. It all begins with getting in touch with your regular digital supplier or us and asking them to make this move. The leading suppliers of SSL certificates are VeriSign Geo trust & Comodo, just make sure you have an email address set up at admin@yourdomain, this is the quickest way to verify an SSL certificate and will save you and your digital supplier buckets of time.