What is that little padlock for? Do I need one?

ssl padlock icon

Have you ever wondered about the small padlock located next to the URL of some websites? This icon indicates a security feature that some websites have and others do not. Recently, Google has announced that websites with an SSL certificate will be ranked higher in Google search than websites that do not. Additionally, browsers such as Chrome and Firefox are starting to display subtle warnings about websites that don’t have these certificates.

In addition to the small padlock icon, you’ll also notice that the URL begins with HTTPS instead of simply HTTP. That “S” is a critical difference. A website using HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure) is making their site is secure and protects the confidentiality of their users’ data.

The way to add the padlock and HTTPS to your site is by purchasing an SSL Certificate that certifies the authenticity of your company or organization as the owner of the website. Even if your website does not have a shopping cart or anything that needs encryption, the SSL certificate serves as a form of legitimacy as to the ownership of the site. In many cases, the ownership of websites is hidden by various privacy services, and the average user cannot verify who owns any given website. An SSL certificate helps ensure the site belongs to a real company or person.

SiteInSight offers SSL certificates to its clients who would like to add this enhancement to their websites. We work with your domain or hosting company to secure the certificate and install it for you, so you don’t need to worry about the technical work.

The purpose of SSL is to encrypt sensitive information being sent across the internet, so that only the intended recipient can view it, and if it is intercepted by a hacker, they can’t see the protected information. This information includes credit card numbers, usernames and passwords and other sensitive information that can be kept secure using SSL. This protects the users of your website from hackers and creates an overall sense of trust between the consumer and the company.

If you are currently enrolled in one of our monthly SEO plans at the Extensive or Extra Mile level, we will purchase and install the SSL certificate for you. You do not need to take any further action. You will see the padlock icon on your site before the first of the year.

If you are enrolled at the Proactive or Intensive levels, we will help you purchase an SSL certificate at your expense (approximately $150 year including the certificate and dedicated IP address) from your hosting company and install it for you for a one-time fee.

If you are not enrolled in an SEO marketing plan for you website, you can sign up now, or inquire about the cost of having an SSL certificate installed on your site this month. It will be good for one year, and then will need to be renewed.

Please contact Alice Foeller at alice@siteinsight.com to discuss your needs in this area.

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