Guaranteeing the security for your website is perhaps one task you want resolved before opening your web platform’s virtual doors to the rest of the internet community. While the security of a website doesn’t directly affect its functionality and performance, it does play a very important role in facilitating credible connectivity with prospective web visitors that wish to browse through pages on the website.
If you’re conversant with the workings of the internet and the mechanism of data transfer from a computer to a server and back to the computer, you will know that the default arrangement gives much room for outside interference during an attempted connection between the computer and the server.
In layman’s terms, when you access a website that isn’t protected by a security measure, your activities on the site are usually visible to any computer that exists between yours and the server hosting the website. This gives the owners of such computers a front row observation sit to every activity that you conduct on the website.
Though this was a lingering flaw during the humble beginnings of the internet, it is safe to say that it is no longer a glaring problem thanks to several innovative creations, one of which is widely being applied on numerous internet platforms.
Secure Sockets Layer (also known as SSL) is the basic mechanism that facilitates secure connection between two entities on the internet, most commonly a server and a computer. Though the description of SSL’s function is quite concise, the manner of its execution is more elaborate.
When data is transferred between a computer and a server hosting a website with SSL certification, the connection between the entities involved isn’t literally secured…it is actually encrypted.
What this basically means is that outside entities aren’t able to understand the data being exchanged between the computer and the server simply because it has been encrypted.
Why use an SSL certificate?
Perhaps, one can say that the most apparent use of an SSL certificate is to give internet users peace of mind when they visit a website. With growing concerns about the increase in malicious activities on the internet sphere, the presence of the SSL symbol (a padlock on the browser’s tab) on a web page gives it both the validation and authentication that most web users need before executing any web transaction in a site.
With SSL capable of encrypting very sensitive user information like credit card details and login details, it has become the standard security tool for E-commerce platforms and retail blogs.
The other key advantage of using an SSL certificate these days is that search engines such as Google will rank your website higher if it is secure than if you do not use and SSL certificate.
Limitations of SSL
The main drawback of an SSL certificate isn’t actually due to its functionality but the ease of its issuance. With almost anybody able to apply and receive an SSL certificate, it can become very difficult to tell between a genuine and a frivolous website.
No matter how effective the encryption tool is, it is basically useless if the secured site you’re submitting your data to is also fraudulent.
An SSL certificate remains the most impactful innovation in regards to website security and internet safety, and even with its obvious flaws, it is the major sure-fire way to protect the data of your users from external influence.
Contact us today if you would like to find out more about how to make your website more secure.