An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer certificate, is a great way to protect your website, whether or not it accepts credit cards. It ensures privacy and security for your users, keeping information safe from hackers or identity thieves.

Every time someone uses a website, that information is sent from one computer to another before it arrives at its final destination: the server. If another computer were to get in the way of that info., malicious users could easily view whatever passwords, usernames, social security numbers, and credit cards were sent along that path — if the site is not encrypted with SSL certification.

When a website uses an SSL certificate, the server is the only thing that can read the information. It possesses a key to untangling the garbled message and turns it into usable information. Without the key, the message is nothing more than a random mess of numbers, letters, and symbols.

There are multiple levels of SSL certification available. For now, the highest level of encryption is 256-bit encryption. The least expensive and lowest level encryption available is 40-bit. To put it into perspective, only the largest, most massive e-commerce websites need that upper level of encryption.

This kind of web security isn’t free. It will cost anywhere from $10 a year to $1500 a year. It all depends on what level of security you are choosing, whether you are sharing your SSL certificate with someone else, or if you have opted for a dedicated SSL certificate.

Perhaps an understated perk of an SSL certificate is the quiet sign of trust that it offers. If you have one, it shows that your website has been verified. Anyone who lands on your site will see the lock icon or a green bar and know that the site is safe. It’s a compelling statement about your commitment to your customer’s needs without any extra work on your part.

Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate?

If you aren’t an e-commerce website, you may want to consider using an SSL certificate as a way of establishing trust with your customers. It provides visual proof that your website is a legitimate business.

If you do run an e-commerce website, then you will need some sort of encryption to prevent digital theft. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry — there’s help. To determine what level of encryption will meet your needs, contact the team here at SiteSTR. From responsive web design to social media marketing to custom audience targeting, our team is here to lend a hand.