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Is your website secure? What is HTTPS or SSL, and why should I care?

Have you ever seen one of these error messages on a website?

security certificate error message

If you haven't, you will soon. And you definitely wouldn't want your website to display this kind of error to potential customers or clients. At no point in the history of the internet has this become a bigger issue than now given all the constant hacking attacks and the predominant attempts to steal your personal information. And if you're thinking, I don't sell anything online so this doesn't apply to me, you would be sadly mistaken.

Let me put the technical jargon aside and let me explain in simple terms what is HTTPS and SSL, and how it could benefit or harm your online business presence.

What is HTTPS?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a language used for secure communications over a computer network, like the internet. Communication over HTTPS are encrypted between the client and the server so eavesdroppers don’t listen in, no one tampers with the data, and your website data isn’t forged.

What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer and is often used interchangeably with the term TLS – Transport

Layer Security. Both are languages that help encrypt communications over a computer network. Typically, if you wanted to encrypt the transmission of your data between the server and the client, you would purchase an SSL certificate.

Why should you care about HTTPS and SSL?

Google sees three reasons for securing your website with HTTPS and SSL. They are:

■ “Authentication,”

■ “Data Integrity,” and


These three reasons speak to a number of issues that have come up when it comes to communications over the web.

Why is 2017 the Year of HTTPS and SSL?

Back in 2014, Google said that if your website was HTTPS it would give that site additional ranking signal in search results. This is a great for businesses that have websites that are competing with others for position on search engine results pages. Google also said they wouldn’t penalize the websites that are not secure.

In September 2016, Google announced that in January 2017 they would begin displaying the security of the connection in Chrome's address bar (like the illustration above). This is the beginning of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP pages non-secure.

If your website does not have an SSL certificate yet, it's just a matter of time when your customers, clients, business contacts see the error message. In addition, unsecured websites may be vulnerable for personal information theft to both, the administrator and the user. At DS&P we offer SSL certificates for your website whether you developed it with us or not. Contact us for details and we will gladly offer you an assessment. Under most circumstances the cost is minimal and it is a one-time fee.

Have additional questions? Would like to know if your website is secure? Would you like to upgrade your website presence? We can help. Contact us today by filling out the form below.

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