Before I knew what I was looking for, I certainly never noticed whether a website address starts with “http://” or “https://.” In fact, most of the time, the part of the address you see when you are visiting a website does not even show the http:// or https:// so the only visible part is the domain: something like “mail.google.com” or “facebook.com” instead of a whole string of letters that mean next to nothing to you, a site visitor. However, the beginning part of the address is more important than you realize, just like that extra “s”! If you have noticed it, you may have seen that it pops up more often when you are on a page that requires sensitive information such as your address or a payment method. This extra “s” is powered by SSL technology, or Secure Sockets Layer.
SSL establishes a secure, encrypted link between your browser and the web server to help ensure that all data that is exchanged (your credit card information, email address, physical address, et cetera) remains private. On an unsecure web page, hackers can easily steal your data as soon as you start to type it into the submission form, whether that’s as relatively harmless as your email address or as dangerous as your bank account or social security number. When the site has an SSL certificate, though, that data is safe from hackers because the website has formed an encrypted connection with the server. SSL certificates protect your personal information from unauthorized viewers and hackers. If your website records personal information of any kind, from names and email addresses to payment methods and physical addresses, it should have an SSL certificate so that information is kept safe.
If you aren’t sure you’re doing what you need to do to keep your site and visitor information private and secure, contact Your Web Pro LLC today! We would love to help make sure that your website is as safe as it can be.