Give me your credit card number.

What?  Don’t you trust me?

You may not realize it, but trust is critical for any web-based transaction.  Users are sending you their personal information, including credit card numbers, and they want assurances that it’s safe.  A recent GlobalSign study said that 77% of customers are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused and 55% are worried about identity theft.

One simple way to instill trust is to use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology.  It’s a standard security protocol that ensures all data transmissions are encrypted.  Now, I’m not a programmer, so I turned to TJ Waldof from SingleHop to explain how the technology works.  Here’s what he said:

“SSL relies on two keys to ensure secure communication: One public and one private. Working together, these keys establish an encrypted connection between user web browsers and your company server, allowing them to “talk” without fear of eavesdropping.

Obtaining a key pair starts with a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) created on your server and then sent to a Certificate Authority (CA), which verifies your company owns the domain it is trying to secure and then creates a public and private key. The private key is created using the data in your CSR.  (Note: The CA never has access to the private key itself.  Instead it uses its fundamental data structure to create a public key match.  It is then shared by your server to initiate secure communication).

Once your CSR is approved, you receive an SSL certificate that is installed on your server. Often, this is what’s known as an “intermediate certificate” that relies on the CA’s established “root certificate” for credibility while your unique SSL key pair is being generated. Once your certificate is installed, your website should be accessible via “HTTPS” — meaning the SSL is up and running, allowing users to connect and transfer data securely, as shown by the green “lock” symbol in the address bar.”

TJ also provided this great checklist that will walk you through setting up an SSL certificate.

 

SSL Certificate Checklist

Bottom line:  If you’re handling customer data, that HTTPS is really important.

And, if you know me, you know I like stats and examples to back up any recommendation.  So, here are a few other things to think about when deciding if now is the time to get that SSL certificate:

  1. SSL certificates increase website conversion rates
  2. Secure sites see an organic ranking boost from Google’s search algorithm.
  3. You have a better chance of not being one of these people.

I hope this post has been compelling.  If you’re convinced to get that SSL certificate on your site, I look forward to seeing that HTTPS in front of your address.

If not, please email me your credit card information to the contact information provided below.

Cheers,

Joel

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