If you are one of the many currently involved with a website without a correctly installed and verified SSL-certificate, then it is time to pay attention. Since October 2017, Google started marking all websites in which any data can be shared by the visitor, without such a certificate, as unsafe for visitors. This is happening for everyone using its popular browser Google Chrome.
The debate surrounding security is consistently growing and with it, we are seeing an increase in public awareness. Consequently, being marked as unsafe would mean a decrease in customer engagement and ultimately conversion rates, too. People are especially hesitant of sharing data, which is required for things such as purchasing a product or filling in a contact form, on sites that are not shown to be safe. What is more, Google has hinted that, in the soon future, all websites will be marked irrespective of whether or not any data can be shared. They are doing this to increase transparency for customers using their browser, something they hope to achieve by making it simpler for everyone whether a website has taken its visitors security into consideration.
Let’s jump right into it the new security requirements from Google.
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SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, is a modern form of security technology that establishes an encrypted and thus secure connection between a web server and a browser. In everyday English, this means that all the data that is transferred to a business through their website will remain protected, private, and ultimately a lot safer. Bear in mind that even a correctly installed and verified SSL-certificate does not guarantee complete safety. It is always a possibility for a hacker to access this information albeit an SSL-certificate makes it significantly harder.
Although you may not have heard about the word SSL previously, you will likely know about it from your daily activity online. Fortunately, most websites today have an SSL-certificate. It varies from one browser to another how you can see if a website has a valid certificate. In most cases, you will see a green security lock at the top of the page where you write in the URL of the site you are visiting. This security lock means that the website has a safe and verified certificate and thus that the connection is safe and encrypted.
At COBURY, we are always paying attention to the latest digital trends and seek to investigate how these may affect the conversion rates of online businesses. Consequently, we have tracked and compared the data of a variety of sites over the past year to consider the effect of lacking an SSL-certificate. The results speak for themselves. The mere presence of an SSL-certificate directly influence conversion rate. There are no negatives, other than the minimal investment it takes to purchase and setup, to obtaining a certificate and it is therefore highly recommended. Larger companies are even more likely to experience significant increases in their conversion rates upon obtaining a certificate, as customers have higher security expectations from larger companies. Further, companies collecting certain sensitive data are more affected than others. For instance, the customer cares less about sharing his first name by filling out a formula than he does sharing his credit card information as part of a payment process.
It can be difficult to decide which SSL-certificate fits, as there are a large variety of certificates available on the market. Factors such as what data is protected, what country you are located in, and the size of your company should play a decisive role in determining which certificate fits the best. In most cases, you can get away with a standard SSL-certificate, such as the well-known RapidSSL. A RapidSSL certificate can be purchased for as little as 10 euro. Further, there are also a variety of relatively protective free certificates available on the market, such as the well-known LetsEncrypt. These are also fine for many smaller businesses.
If you need help in determining which certificate you need or to set up your new certificate altogether, then you are more than welcome to contact us. Please send an email to email@example.com with any questions that you may have and we will reach out to you within 48 hours. If you decide to purchase a new website with COBURY, we always include and set up a valid and secure SSL-certificate.
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