Time and information have made people smarter. They are now much more familiar with things that they were not previously. In the mid-90s, website security was not even considered, but today, it has become a matter of concern for every netizen.
Internet users stay miles away from websites that have zero security. This statement is especially true for eCommerce sites since they collect shoppers’ personal details such as phone numbers, addresses, card details, and so on.
Now, many web owners might be wondering if their sites have already built a secure connection between them and their visitors by installing an SSL connection, but little do they know that it’s not about any SSL certificate.
It is about choosing the best SSL certificate for an eCommerce site, which we will suggest through our blog.
We shall now stop with our chit-chat and drive straight to explaining about the SSL certificate.
What is SSL Certificate?
The term SSL certificate, also known as Secure Sockets Layer, refers to a digital certificate provided and installed by a hosting provider on your website to indicate that your site is secure from unwanted attacks and data breaches.
The main purpose of installing an SSL certificate is to demonstrate that the user-established connection to your website is absolutely secure and all the data exchanged is encrypted from tampering.
Also Read: What Is A Website Name?
Do eCommerce Sites Need an SSL Certificate?
Every website, especially eCommerce ones that collect user information such as login credentials, passwords, bank details, personal data, etc., is essential to have an SSL certificate for secure data transmission.
If your eCommerce website does not have an SSL certificate, the chances of software exploitation or system vulnerabilities increase. Further, your confidential data might also be stolen, modified, or destroyed by hackers, which can taint your reputation affecting your sales.
While data protection is one of the reasons whySSL for eCommerce websitesis important, other objectives are —
- User Authentication
- Building Trust and Credibility
- Compliance with PCI (Payment Card Industry) Standards
- Improves Visibility on the SERPs
Since you know why SSL certificates are paramount for eCommerce website security. Let us discover the risks of not having an SSL certificate.
1. Data Vulnerability
The most common yet crucial aspect of a site without any SSL certificate is data vulnerability. We cannot stress enough how paramount it is to have an SSL certificate to secure all the data stored on your website.
If your website ends up in the wrong hands or falls victim to malware, the information collected will be forever lost or stolen in a matter of seconds.
2. Fear of Brand Impersonation
According to Graphus, brand impersonation has grown 360% since 2020. This is known to be the oldest trick in the book to fool web users into selling fake products or services at discounted prices. This fraud does not stop here. Some impersonators will take up your money and will vanish into thin air.
The same can be perceived for your brand if it does not have an SSL Certificate. Attackers can develop a fake version of your website and deceive shoppers by selling counterfeit goods or, worst, disclosing their sensitive information.
Even if your website is not fake, web users will suspect the same, leading to site abandonment.
3. Lack of Trust
Non-SSL sites are not only distrusted by netizens but also browsers. Not having an SSL Certificate on your website means you are not following the best website security practices.
You already know that users won’t come near sites unless it has an SSL certificate, as they are more susceptible to data loss. Browsers are equally opposed to sites without an SSL certificate.
Every browser has a different set of rules for underlying an unsecured eCommerce website. However, their ultimate agenda is educating web users not to use such websites without security.
4. Impact on Brand Reputation
Regardless of who you are, what your company is about, or how much popularity you have across your industry, you will negatively impact your brand’s reputation if your eCommerce website does not have an SSL certificate.
Visitors tapping your site will be notified by the browser on whether or not your connection is secure. Without the padlock symbol, ‘HTTPS,’ visitors will form a negative and unprofessional perception of your brand. They will eventually avert from visiting your website, tarnishing your reputation.
5. Legal Issues
Websites collecting user information, including passwords, login credentials, card or UPI details, fall under –
| 1. IT Act, 2000.|
2. IT (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.
3. IT Act, 2000, and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).
4. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
In case your website does not have an SSL certificate, you are directly violating the rules and legal acts set forth by the government, which makes you liable for penalties or reputational damages.
6. De-ranking on SERPs
Yes, SSL & SEO are connected!
While an SSL certificate may not have a direct impact on the SEO, it certainly has an indirect influence, which can de-rank your website on the SERPs.
Let us explain this association.
We all know ranking on SEO equates to following best SEO practices. This includes website traffic. eCommerce websites without an SSL certificate will eventually lose visitors and potential shoppers.
Additionally, browsers will segregate such sites into unsecured categories, negatively impacting their ranking on the SERPs.
So far, we gave you a synopsis of what risks are involved on a site without an SSL certificate. Next, we will understand how to check if a website has an SSL certificate.
How to Ensure a Website Has an SSL Certificate?
1. Check URL
There are various ways of verifying whether a website is secure, and one of them is checking HTTPS. Websites launched on the internet get a default protocol (HTTP) for web communications.
However, the default protocol (HTTP) is not secure. Meaning all the information or communication shared between the user and server is not secure.
Hence, you need to look out for HTTPS at the beginning of the URL. If a site has HTTP instead of HTTPS, assume it is unsafe to use.
2. Padlock Symbol
Another sure-shot way to guarantee the security of an eCommerce website is by cross-checking the padlock symbol at the left corner of the URL. The padlock symbol looks like a standard lock you would use for locking the door.
This symbol indicates the information and conversation transmitted over the network are secure from unwanted cyber and malware attacks.
3. Verify the Certificate Details
Previously, we discussed the padlock symbol and how it can confirm your network security. The same symbol can also help in sharing the certificate information. This key consists of information about the issuer, expiration date, and so on.
You can check out the certificate information by clicking on the padlock symbol, which will redirect you to a dialogue box containing a link called ‘Connection is Secure.’ You can tap on the link to ensure the validity of the certificate.
4. Leverage Tools
Utilize online tools to determine network security quickly and easily. You can head to online websites like SSLShopper or SSL Labs and input the URL of the website. After the analysis, a detailed report on the certificate’s validity, encryption strength, and related information will be revealed.
5. Browser Alerts
This method does not require checking any URL or symbol or analyzing network security. One of the advantages of this solution is that it automatically detects whether you are on a secure connection. We are talking about none other than browser alerts.
Whenever you click on a link through Chrome, Mozilla, or any other browser, it will display a warning message stating, ‘Connection is Not Private.’ This message is displayed whenever a site does not have a valid or misconfigured certificate.
Be attentive to this warning message and avoid staying on such websites.
These are a few ways through which you can ensure a site has an SSL certificate. Let’s take a look at the main point of the blog — Types of SSL Certificates.
Main Types of SSL Certificates
There are various types of SSL certificates —
- Domain Validated (DV)
- Organization Validated (OV)
- Extended Validated (EV)
1. Domain Validated (DV)
This certificate is excellent for website owners who do not collect any user information, as it offers basic-level encryption against malware or cyber-attacks.
Among all the three, this certificate is easier to obtain, and its validation is conducted via call or email to the issuer.
2. Organization Validated (OV)
Organization Validated SSL Certificate is for websites that store and collect user as well as business information on the server. This type of certificate is perfect for website owners aiming to build credibility among their target audience and website visitors.
However, this certificate is relatively hard to obtain as it has a higher level of validation. The certificate authorities check your domain ownership, legal existence, and identity of your company.
3. Extended Validated (EV)
Acquiring this certificate is an uphill battle since it has the most rigorous verification carried out by certificate authorities. From legal to physical existence, the CA learns the ins and outs before issuing the certificate to you.
This certificate is ideal for eCommerce, financial, and other websites with a primary goal of maintaining security and gaining trust.
Also Read: What To Do When Your Website Is Hacked
Which SSL Certificate is Best for an eCommerce Website?
Choosing an SSL certificate is all about your requirements. Whether you want to protect your data or build trust among your target audience, it all narrows down to your goal. Although, we recommend you consider the below-mentioned factors before coming down to a decision.
- Enhance brand reputation and security
- Build credibility
- Compliance and other legal requirements
Your decision-making process will certainly depend a lot on these four factors. If you aim to escalate brand reputation and security while building credibility, we suggest you get an EV certificate.
However, if you don’t store or collect any form of data on your server, DV would be your next best choice.
Frequently Asked Questions About SSL Certificate
1. What is the Main Purpose of SSL?
The main goal of installing an SSL certificate is to secure your connection and safeguard the gathered and stored information from hackers, malware attacks, and so on.
2. What are the Important Features of SSL?
Below is a list of vital features of SSL –
- Data Encryption
- Server Authentication
- Seamless Compatibility
- Detection of Data Tampering
- Configurability for Different Requirements
3. How Long Does an SSL Certificate Last?
An SSL certificate usually lasts for 12 months (1 year). However, the expiration of the SSL also depends on the certificate issued to you. Besides yearly renewal, there are other certificates with 2 or multi-years of validity.
4. Does SSL Increase SEO?
Indirectly, yes. SSL certificates show your website is reputable, building credibility among visitors and target audiences. Once you have gained their trust, they will frequently visit your website, eventually increasing the traffic and ranking on SERPs.
5. Does SSL Stop Hackers?
We would reframe this question by saying that SSL does not stop hackers. It prevents cyber attacks on your website, such as phishing, identity-based threats, IoT-based attacks, etc.
The SSL certificate is an added security layer to ensure your communication, data, and other confidential information are not compromised.
To Sum Up
Hope this article was informative enough to solve your query. Lastly, we would like to answer one more question from numerous existing and forthcoming website owners — How Do I Get an SSL Certificate for My Website?
Majorly, there are two ways to get an SSL certificate for your website — Free and Paid.
A free SSL certificate can be installed from Let’s Encrypt. Currently, this CA is the only source for obtaining free certificates for websites.