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Why is it important for websites to have an SSL certificate?

Why is it important for websites to have an SSL certificate?

Security System

Tony Robert

Tony Robert

12 Jun 2019, 13:46 — 7 min read

Background: The irony of living in a digital era is that even though we are much more connected and almost everything is available at our fingertips, yet our private information is more vulnerable than ever before. Cyber theft and crimes are rampant and while companies are doing their best to tackle this issue, what can you do to make sure that your website/e-commerce store doesn’t fall a prey to these malicious crimes? The answer lies in following some cyber security best practices and giving your website the secure seal of an SSL certificate. Tony Robert of Adweb Technologies Pvt Ltd explains what is an SSL certificate and why you need one.

 

“The superiority of the digital transformation worldwide that affects the lives of billions of people around the globe can also mean the rapid increase of cyber threats.”― Ludmila Morozova-Buss

From a consumer’s perspective, online portals and websites are used for various important transactions and that’s where all the buying and booking takes place. Therefore, when consumers purchase online through websites, a minor doubt in trust factor may lead to a big loss in revenue for the business.

This is the reason why Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates are highly recommended, most importantly Extended Validation (EV) certificate because other basic type certificates like Domain Validated (DV) certificates are not very protocol oriented. For example, any scammer or phisher can buy a DV certificate for their website and get away with it to drain consumers bank accounts.

What is a SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a security lock for websites that handle sensitive content in the form of consumer details, their card numbers etc. Having an SSL certificate ensures that you have a secure connection between a visitor’s web browser and the server of the company they are interacting with. All your company/client information is digitally connected to a cryptographic key.

The SSL certificate has the following information:

  • Name of the certificate holder
  • Serial number and expiry date
  • Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
  • Digital signature of the certificate issuer

Both Chrome and Firefox browsers alert you if you are entering a non-secure webpage.  Even Google has made it a mandate for websites to have an SSL certificate failing which their sites will be flagged. 

But just because a site lacks an SSL certificate, doesn’t mean that it is a bad site. Nonetheless, a little precaution is always prudent.

Having an SSL certificate ensures that you have a secure connection between a visitor’s web browser and the server of the company they are interacting with.


Advantages of having an SSL certificate:

1. Protects sensitive information: When you are purchasing anything online or simply browsing through websites, the information is passed on from one computer to the next to reach the destination server. And anyone can view your card details, username and passwords etc. When SSL certificate is used, all the information becomes unreadable.

2. Prevents cyber theft: With cyber-crime on an all-time high, a website without an SSL certificate is highly vulnerable to stealing of data and personal information.

I would like to elaborate by sharing an incident that happened recently. BookMyShow.com, India's largest entertainment central that provides movie tickets, show times, reviews, trailers, concert and event tickets, exposed the cyber threat and fraud committed by a third party of using cloned/fake websites.

News reports said that the fraudster lured consumers into thinking that they were dealing with BookMyShow.com however as it turns out, it was a cloned website called ‘bookmyshowsupport.com'. This was so similar to the actual website that customers were fooled into believing that it is a customer care support page for the site.

Soon after the website started receiving several complaints from customers saying their bookings haven’t been confirmed despite the payments. Few customers claimed that their bookings were done but when they went for the show, they did not have valid bookings (these customers spent INR 2.3 lakh collectively). BookMyShow.com approached the Mumbai police and lodged an FIR. The police later chased the accused and arrested them for committing this fraud.
 

3. Strengthens brand identity: A secured website boosts trust and when people know that their information is safe with you, it automatically improves your brand identity.

How do you know if your site is SSL secured or not?

An SSL certificate means your viewers can see a green lock icon and a green address bar which means that the website is secured. In addition to that keep in mind the following things:

 

  • Does your website takes text inputs in the form of login panels, contact forms, search bars, etc.
  • Is your website on HTTP://? (it should be HTTPS://)

If yes then you immediately need to implement SSL to prevent further risks.

 

Conclusion:

The instances of cyber frauds have been increasing, and business from the e-commerce industry with online payment facilities, should strongly consider EV SSL Certificate if not done already. This can be a protection from threats and online money laundering, because all these errors occur due to the easy access for the fraudsters on DV certificates. However, EV has a strict authentication process and the visible green bar in the browser window, unlike any other certificate, completely ensures your credibility is safe and secure online.


So, is your website secure? If not, what are you waiting for?

Interested in reading similar articles? Check out some of our articles here?

Cybersecurity best practices to secure and empower your business

Are you an insider threat?

Secure Your Information Assets at Startup


Image courtesy: freepik.com


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.   

Posted by

Tony Robert

With more than two and half years of experience in online marketing, currently multitasking on social, email and website medium. my overall experience includes: Marketing Reports,...

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