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Five Reasons Your Website Needs SSL Encryption

Tuesday 12 December 2017
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a technology that keeps internet connections secure. It uses a certificate to encrypt information as it passes over the otherwise insecure internet. You can tell if a website is secured using an SSL certificate because https appears at the start of the address.

Historically the majority of websites have not used https because of the perceived cost and difficulty of encrypting traffic but this is changing rapidly.

We think you should secure your site with SSL. Our top five reasons for encrypting your website are:

1. It Encrypts Private Information

Let's start with the most obvious reason to add SSL to your website. By encrypting the data as it passes over the Internet you are protecting it from "man in the middle" attacks where hackers eavesdrop on data as it passes between your webserver and the customer's browser. The majority of the information on your website is in the public domain so there is no need for that to be protected. Indeed, the more people that read your blog posts the better! But other information must be protected. For example when someone enters personal information such as their name or email address into your website you are duty bound to protect that information. If a contact form on your website is not encrypted then you are not protecting that information. If users can log into your website or purchase goods from it then it is even more important that such information is protected.

2. It Prevents Spoofing

A less well known security benefit of using SSL is that hackers cannot spoof your site. When they spoof they put up their own website with your domain name and they direct traffic to this site, pretending to be your company. This causes harm in a couple of ways. Firstly they can display whatever information on your website they wish to and more severely they can collect information and even payments from your customers.

3. It Greatly Improves Search Engine Positioning

Google added HTTPS as a ranking signal back in August 2014. The signal was weak at first but since then Google has been turning up its importance. According to Moz by June 2016 about a third of all results on the first page of Google's main search terms were secured by SSL. Now, 18 months on, the signal has become so important that if you wish to come at the top of the more sought after search terms it is virtually essential that your site uses SSL. By way of example search for yacht charter in Google. Today the first eight results are all sites that use SSL. If the ninth and tenth placed companies (Camper and Nicholsons and Sunseeker) were to secure their sites with SSL I am sure their sites would advance up the ranking.

4. It Increases Customer Confidence

It is now common knowledge that it is unwise to shop or bank on a website that is not protected with an SSL padlock. This trend is continuing and customers are becoming dubious about putting any personal information into an unencrypted website. If a users sees a red URL they know it is dangerous. They consider grey to be dubious but have great confidence in the reassuring green padlock. Google is leading the charge in informing customers of the dangers of using unencrypted websites. In September 2016 their Chrome browser started labelling unencrypted sites with password and credit card fields as "not secure". In October 2017 Chrome started displaying this warning on any type of form on a page that is not encrypted.

5. It is Required for HTTP/2

HTTP/2 (the new standard for traffic over the Internet) does not specifically require encryption but given that the main six web browsers will only support HTTP/2 if your website is secure encryption is de facto mandatory if you want your website to use HTTP/2.

Yachting Limited Can Help

We can add add SSL encryption to your website today. It is inexpensive and not time consuming so please get in touch and we will take it from there.