SSL Certificate – Advantages and Disadvantages
Posted: Dec 11, 2014
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is a protocol used for sending confidential data over the Internet. SSL creates a secure connection between a web browser and the server. In this process, SSL uses encryption to keep the data private. Thus, it protects data privacy. In this article, we'll discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of having the feature of SSL enabled on your business website.
SSL certificate ensures the data you send online are read by only the intended recipient and none else. In this process, the data traverse multiple computers before they reach the recipient. On the way, the data could be accessed by unauthorized third parties. However, SSL makes some changes in the original data so that the data cannot be read by the third parties.
Authentication - improves customers' trust
Having SSL certificate ensures authentication. By authentication, we mean interpreting the sent data to the target server and not to unauthorized third parties. This is important because, as we have said, the data travels across multiple computers and can be accessed by unintended third parties.
Before selling a SSL certificate, the provider performs multiple checks for your identity. They will sell it only when they verify that your website is a genuine company/business.
A SSL authenticated website shows a lock icon; and the page URL starts with https:// and not http://. This makes it easy for visitors to know that the website is safe to make transactions with and helps the site gain their trust.
Guards against phishing attacks
A phishing email contains a link to an identical copy of the genuine site. When you use your data like user name, passwords, etc., on this site, the data can be accessed by unauthorized elements. Having SSL certificate stalls their access, because your customers trust only sites with SSL certificate. When the unauthorized site does not have this feature, your customers are unlikely to move forward. Thus, you protect your customers from phishing attacks in your name.
Better search engine rankings
Google recently added having a SSL certificate as one of the ranking parameters for search results. Having a SSL certificate brings your site a competitive advantage in Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).
When a transaction is initiated on a site with SSL certificate, the process involves encryption and decryption of the data transferred mutually. Because of this, the connection slows down. However, a small sacrifice in speed is worth the extra security. The SSL certificate service provider should make sure the process encrypts and decrypts information in real-time.
Getting a SSL certificate for your business can be expensive because the service providers need to pay for maintenance of the infrastructure and they have to verify your business credentials. All this entails cost. Therefore, it may not be a viable option for small businesses.
You need to renew your SSL certificate periodically. When it expires, customers visiting your site get a pop-up message saying that the SSL certificate in your site has expired, and the site is not secure any longer.
If you do not renew the SSL certificate, you are likely to lose customers' trust.
A SSL certificate is good for your business because it protects your customers' data, protects the credibility of your business, and it is likely to help you build a good brand image in the long run.
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