Web merchants that are new to the game often have limited business funds with which to build their website, and some basic components of a professional website may be cut to adhere to a tight budget. Merchants who are thinking of omitting an SSL certificate to save money should evaluate the benefits of an SSL certificate before making a final decision.
What is an SSL Certificate?
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a method of providing a secure connection between a website that is being visited by a computer user and the user’s browser. SSL certificates use encryption to provide a layer of security when sensitive information is being transmitted over the Internet.
SSL certificates are most useful for online merchants because sellers typically require customers to enter personal information including name, address and phone number. Financial information such as a credit card numbers or checking account information is also transmitted online when a sale is completed.
Encryption is only one feature of an SSL certificate. Any company that wishes to display an SSL certificate on their website must first have the identity of the company verified. Company history, legal documents relating to the formation of the company and photo identification of representatives of the company may be required during this process.
The involved nature of the process of obtaining an SSL certificate ensures customers that the business is legitimate and safe to purchase from.
Benefits of an SSL Certificate
1. Proven protection against hackers
The type of encryption varies depending on the type of SSL certificate that a company chooses to buy, but all types provide protection. An 128 bit SSL encryption provides security that has been shown to keep hackers from gaining access to sensitive information transmitted by customers.
The SSL bit determines the level of security, and companies can choose the security level from a range of 48 to 128 bits. Higher bits are typically reserved for larger companies that have heavy sales volumes, and lower levels of security can be adequate for small companies that are just starting out and are building a customer base.
2. Gain the trust of customers
Customers who purchase items online are often wary about doing so, and it is up to the merchant to give customers peace of mind when the merchant is requiring sensitive personal and financial information.
With news of online fraud and stolen identities prevalent in the news, cautious online shoppers are now eliminating any merchant without an SSL certificate when choosing a store to purchase from on the Internet. Utilizing this security measure gives online merchants an edge on the competition by providing added protection that other merchants may not have.
3. Protect sensitive information
An SSL certificate is a valuable tool for any E-commerce website, but the benefits that a certificate provides to customers is not the only positive. Companies that discuss sensitive business information online or complete purchases from vendors through their website can boost security and protect business information that could otherwise be used by competitors.
Online merchants managing their E-commerce website must be certain to gain the trust of customers through offering added security. The encryption and verification that an SSL certificate provides can help a merchant gain and protect customers while enjoying the benefits of maintaining a secure website that is trusted by visitors.
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