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Growing Importance of SSL Certificates and their Advantages

rapinnotech profile image Rapinno Tech ・2 min read

Today, an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate serves as the standard method for achieving an acceptable level of
protection and security of customer data and/or transactions on websites and e-commerce portals.
But what is an SSL Certificate? Simply put, it is a file with a cryptographic key of the details of an online entity (like a
website) that activates a lock. Now it can only be unlocked at the receiver side (your web browser) with the same
digital key. Typically, any website address that begins with “HTTPS” instead of the traditional “HTTP” either has or had
an SSL Certification.
Importance of SSL Certificates
The importance of SSL Certificates has only grown over time, some of which are described below:
• Made Mandatory by Google: In 2018, Google decided to flag all websites without SSL Certification as ‘Not Secure’
in the URL bar of its Chrome browser. Soon other popular web browsers followed suit making it risky for websites
not to have one.
• PCI/DSS Requirements: Any e-commerce site accepting credit card payments has to meet PCI/DSS (Payment
Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements; one which an SSL Certificate helps satisfy. The penalty for
not doing so leads to a ban on accepting online payments, in addition to monthly fines.
• SSL Equals Trust: Beyond authentication and encryption, an SSL certificate imbues trust in a customer. Because
HTTPS offers a basic level of protection against phishing and other related criminal activities online, informed
customers naturally trust sites with SSL certification over those without it.
Advantages of an SSL Certificate
An SSL certification should not be seen as a compulsion. On the contrary, web portal owners have a lot to gain with
HTTPS, some of which are described below:
• Better Search Engine Rankings: In 2014, Google made changes to its search result algorithm to favor the HTTPS-enabled website. However minute, one cannot deny a direct correlation between SSL certification and a website’s
higher search engine rankings.
• Better Page Loading Speeds: Because HTTPS sites have better data integrity, their pages also load faster than
those of an HTTP site. Given that a large number of visitors to sites nowadays are mobile users, this seemingly
simple attribute can be the difference between a user staying on the site as opposed to abandoning it for a faster
alternative.
• Win-Win For All: Just as customers today are concerned about their sensitive data getting leaked, business
owners to are petrified of the detrimental effects of wiretapping, phishing, and MIM attacks on their online
business. With SSL certificate security, both parties get their peace of mind, which in turn fosters a more robust
business viz-a-viz customer relationship.

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Discussion

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informed customers naturally trust sites with SSL certification over those without it.

Not necessarily. Unless one is using a public internet access, there's little reason to suspect any man-in-the-mittle attacks on the internet. The authenticity of the received information can often be trusted simply because there's no financial incentive to modify it (online banking & co. being obvious exceptions). There's no reason to trust wikipedia more because it uses HTTPS.