Please note: I originally wrote this post on Alignable. Read the original post here.
Update: recently they’ve removed the word “Secure” from the address bar and the lock is no longer displayed as green, and the “insecure” is no longer displayed in red. However, the effects of NOT having your website domain secured is still the same and you’ll definitely see a hit to your search engine rankings by NOT implementing SSL on your website.
1) SSL Encrypts Sensitive Information
The info you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between yours and the final destination server can see everything: your credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and other sensitive info if it is not encrypted. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server to which you are sending the info.
2) SSL Certificates Protect You from Cybercriminals
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity damages will cost the world over $6 TRILLION annually by 2021. It is impossible to escape the rising tide of cybercrime if your website doesn’t have an SSL cert. They will identify weakness(es) in your network . . . mostly when information is transmitted. Recently these cybercriminals have been refining malicious strains that are specifically design to capture the data while it’s moving from computer to computer before it gets to the server (these people ARE clever). You can protect yourself and all your website visitors from this mess by making sure you have an SSL cert.
3) SSL Builds Trust and Build Brand Power
With SSL certs, your customer will see visuals like the Green Lock icon and the word “Secure” up in the address bar that indicate that well-trusted encryption is in use. If I, as a customer, see that on a website, I know my information is safe. This, in turn, adds brand power and boosts credibility.
And… on top of it all Google IS flagging all sites that do NOT have SSL certificates installed. In the long run if you can even get to the website, they will look like this:
I have to say… when I see a site like this, 99% of the time I leave it right away, even if it’s a site I’ve visited before Google’s implementation of this SSL/non-SSL flagging began.
So as a website owner, even if you do not collect any information, it still looks bad if you don’t have that lovely green lock image and the word “Secure” in the address bar. It’s not expensive, and not hard to do. Why wouldn’t you want to do it?