SSL Certificates – HTTPS

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Do You Know What HTTPS Means?

You’ve probably already noticed this little thing last time you were online. Individual web addresses are increasingly prefaced with an HTTPS, rather than the standard HTTP. You’ve seen that extra letter on your bank’s website, or your student loan payment portal or favourite e-commerce platform. Long story short that new S represents an additional layer of protective security. It means the page is encrypted, and the web page you are visiting is not open to attacks from hackers. This technology is known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

Blue HTTPS SSL Certificate Lock
Green Lock HTTPS WWW

What Does SSL Stand For?

What does SSL stand for? A legitimate question that even some of the more tech-literate among us, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and is the technology used to establish a secure link between the web browsers and the servers being used—ensuring users privacy remains intact. To create an SSL connection, you’ll need a certificate. When you activate the certificate, you (or the web admin) will be required to answer a series of questions, before being given two keys—a public and a private—which work together to present information to web visitors, while keeping select data private.

What’s the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol is the system that essentially enables our ability to both send and receive information on the internet. HTTP is responsible for ensuring the information you type in makes it to your computer in a cohesive manner. Regular HTTP doesn’t care how the data arrives—the only concern is that information travels from one location to the next. HTTPS or secure hypertext transfer protocol is essentially the same thing (at least from the web user’s point of view), but secure. Technically speaking, HTTPS uses TCP Port 443—making it an entirely different communication than its less secure counterpart. As a point of reference, TCP (transmission control protocol) is the protocol that defines how all data is sent from one point to the next.

Why is SSL So Important to Google?

Because SSL offers heightened levels of security to a website, having this protection scores you some points with Google. While it’s easy to see why a trusted site would climb in rankings, here are some less obvious SEO benefits you’ll get from having that extra letter:

Secure Referral Information

As users pass through an SSL site, their secure referral information is preserved, giving you better insights as to where your traffic is coming from. With an HTTP address, the records of inbound traffic are documented as direct traffic—regardless of which channel got them to your site in the first place.

Rankings Boost

Thus far, better rankings caused by making the jump from HTTP to HTTPS are relatively modest, but they do make a difference. And knowing Google, SSL isn’t something you can ignore for much longer.

Increased Privacy and Security

While SSL may be more critical for sites that process sensitive information like financials, medical information and more, even a low-stakes, content only can reap some serious benefits by adding an HTTPS certificate. First, the added security ensures the website and the server are both on the same page. It also prevents third-party hackers from messing with your content, as well as protecting your visitors from a man in the middle attack — where a malicious third-party intercepts the visitor on the way to their destination.

Finally, HTTPS encrypts all sensitive data—protecting sensitive info like passwords, credit card numbers and browsing history. Simply put, HTTPS protects both you and those who spend time on your site.

Why is SSL So Important to Google?

If you’re looking to implement an SSL certificate for your website, there are some things you’ll need to know. First of all, you’ll need to learn what type of certificate you’ll need for your site, as well as what systems may be affected by the change, what are the policy requirements and so on.

Here’s a quick run through of your different options:

Organization Validated Certificate (OV)

Organization validated certificates are trusted certificates. These certs are authenticated by a team of agents and ran against registered domain names. OVs are the industry standard for commercial websites. Even if you’re still wondering, “what does SSL stand for?” and you’ve got an e-commerce site or a popular content site—chances are, you’ll benefit from having an OV in place.

Extended Validation Certificate (EV)

EVs are your most secure SSL option. This certificate comes with a highly involved vetting process, far stricter than the organizational validation certificate. Web users can identify EV SSL certificates by the green address bar, as opposed to the gold lock symbol. While not every business requires an EV, banking institutions, high-volume shopping sites, and others transmitting large amounts of sensitive data may do best with this option.

Domain Validated Certificate (DV)

This type of certificate is checked against existing domain registration. These certificates aren’t evaluated by an organization and are essentially your cheapest option compared to the others; You should not use domain validated certificates for commercial business—those in the know do not trust this option—it’s the certificate equivalent of Twitter Egg or a Yelp reviewer with no track record.

Need Help Finding the Right SSL Certificate for Your Business?

Parxavenue can help you sort out the details. Whether you need minimal protection for a personal web page or enterprise-wide security, give us a call at 403-978-1520.

If you’re still asking yourself, “what does SSL stand for,” it’s okay. We’ll walk you through the process of obtaining the SSL certification best suited to your needs. Once SSL certified, you can rest easy knowing consumers feel secure and Google rankings are on the rise.

Web Design and SEO Experts