What is an SSL Certificate?

Why is my website showing as an UNSECURED SITE?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. According to GoDaddy, “an SSL Certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key.”

So, that means the SSL creates a secure link between a website and the visitors browser ensuring that the data being passed between the two remains private and secure. When you browse or interact with a website, your information passes through many computers. The SSL provides encryption which makes it unreadable to everyone except the server you are sending the information to, preventing others from stealing private information. A website that takes credit cards must have an SSL Certificate to be PCI Compliant (complying with Payment Card Industry).

In addition to encryption, an SSL also provides authentication. This ensures that you are sending your information to the correct company – not someone pretending to be that company.

All websites should have an SSL Certificate. It adds credibility to your website and lets visitors know that your business is legitimate and your site is safe.

How do I know if a site has an SSL Certificate?

When you see the lock in the search bar, that means that website has an SSL certificate. The web address also changes to https:// to show others that this is a secure site. There is also a Verified & Secure logo that may be on the website as another indicator of an SSL Certificate. If you do not have an SSL certificate you may notice that the menu bar will show NOT SECURE in red letters as a warning to visitors.

How do I get an SSL Certificate?

Go to the company that hosts your website, they should be able to provide you with an SSL Certificate. There are different levels of SSL’s to choose from and there is a yearly fee. Once you have the SSL it has to be installed onto your site and verified every year.

If your website is through Handouts, contact us and we will make sure your site is Secure!

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