An SSL certificate is a security certificate that allows a secure connection between a computer and a web server. Utilizing public and private key pair, a website you’re connecting to can both send data privately to your browser and receive data privately that you enter into the site. This can prevent anyone from intercepting or copying the data in plain text and being able to read things you may enter into toke site.
The main purpose of an SSL certificate is encryption but it can also allow authentication. Your computer will only allow connections to sites that have an SSL certificate signed by a trusted certificate authority. Certificate authorities verify that the SSL certificate someone is requesting to be validated actually belongs to the company or website requesting it.
You may have seen the line “This website is not secure” warning on your web browser before you navigate it. These are usually the result of an expired SSL certificate. It can also mean that they are alerting you that the website you are visiting is not authenticated by the certificate they’re presenting. It can also mean that the certificate is not signed by a trusted certificate authority.
In order to secure and better encrypt the internet, Google made the necessary change on how their various products and services treat SSL certificates. This change includes an encryption – a secure connection (HTTPS) is required for most websites, not just for online banking and shopping sites.
This can be considered as the right move for the internet, but it can be potentially harmful to your business if your website remains insecure. However, if your website is available over HTTP but not HTTPS, it is possible that website traffic may decrease. This can eventually have a negative impact on conversion rates.
There has been a big shift last July 2018 when Google launched the change in Chrome that any websites loading over HTP would now carry a “Not Secure” warning in the browser’s addresses bar by default. This shift means that having the HTTPS is the new default for websites. A green padlock icon in Chrome was treated as a secure icon before but is now identified with a gray padlock icon.
A year after the original change to alert users with HTTP sites, Google changed the gray “not secure” warning to a bright red warning with an alert icon last October 2018. Whenever users are in the platform that asks their information, they will now see a red warning which can clearly elicit a negative response from your site’s visitors. Having an SSL certificate may be seen as simple, but it gives an important factor because it gains users’ trust for their personal information.
As of right now, your website should have an SSL certificate. A poorly implemented SSL certificate can continue to show “not secure” warnings to your visitors or even completely tank both your SEO and search rankings.