Secure Socket Layer or SSL is simply a standard encryption technology by means of which data is transferred securely from a web browser to a web server. Users leave data on different webpages, such as checkout pages and contact forms. This information is prone to malicious attacks from hackers and other malicious users. SSL prevents such kinds of activities, and thus makes user-website interaction secure that is mandatory when dealing with sensitive, financial or confidential information.
SSL operates using public and private encryption keys. A public encryption key is used for scrambling the information whilst a private encryption key decrypts the information so that it can be inferred by someone monitoring the transmission. Websites that make use of SSL displays an https:// before the web address. Using SSL is mandatory for eCommerce websites and other websites dealing with sensitive and confidential user information.A website making use of SSL has a SSL certificate, allowing visitors to know that communication over the channel is encrypted i.e. safe.
Yes, SSL certificate is important in Google Ranking following the recent updates made by the tech mogul in its Google Search. Websites with https are prioritized over websites without it. This is primarily because any website with a SSL certificate is safer than a website without it.
Hence, it is recommended to add a SSL certificate to your website if not already. Adding an SSL certificate to a website is easy. However, you need to complete your homework on SSL before you can decide what type of SSL certificate to employ and to get it from whom. Further, you need to pay attention to a few additional points. Following section will help you in making your decision.
Important Things to Consider When Getting a SSL Certificate
Adding any opportune SSL certificate elevates consumer interest as well as reliance in the business. SSL certificates are available in distinct forms and types. Hence, you should be careful while choosing an SSL certificate for your business.
Here are some important points that you need to pay heed to before adding an SSL certificate to your website:
- Choose a Web Server with Support for HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security)
HSTS, short for HTTP Strict Transport Security, is a web security policy mechanism. It safeguards websites, and users, against cookie hijacking and protocol downgrade attacks. HSTS is specified in RFC 6797 and is an IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standards track protocol. When choosing a web server catering to your HTTPS requirements, it’s important to go for a server that allows HSTS support.
- Decide What Type of SSL Certificate to Choose
There are several types of SSL certificates to choose from, such as single and wildcard certificates. You need to research well on all types available and then choose one that matches perfectly, or mostly, with your business requirements.
- Employ Protocol Relative URLs
While employing an SSL certificate, it’s important to make use of protocol relative URLs. These assist in minimizing the possibility of serving 404 pages in case where a user lands on a URL loaded from a development environment.
- Use 301 Redirection
For those already started a website without an SSL certificate, it’s important to use 301 redirects for allowing visitors to go to the https version of the various webpages accessed.
- Use SSL Certificates Issued by Trusted Certificate Authorities
Authorities offering SSL certificates need to follow legal regulations. This is done to label them as trusted resources. Hence, you need to add an SSL certificate offered by a trusted certificate authority to protect site visitors, and the website itself, from potential MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks.