In July 2018, Google announced that sites without HTTPS would be flagged in Google Chrome as a security risk. If you did not hear or read about this in the news then it came may have come as a shock when you were directed to a warning screen while browsing through Google trying to look up a site. In fact, I was chatting with a contact from my Toastmasters club about some problems they were having with their website not appearing in search results. Their first complaint was that they would be directed to a warning page entering the URL like the one above
Their second complaint was that they didn’t know what an SSL certificate was or how to get one. This seems to be fairly common for many business owners and entrepreneurs. While it is not their number one concern in the day to day business operations it should be something that everybody operating a business-oriented website have some awareness about as well as how it affects their online brand. At the very least the web developers you trust to create your online real estate should notify you about such changes and implement them to ensure that your web traffic and transactions are secure. Not addressing such things would be like buying a car from the dealership and 50 miles later your brand new car runs out of gas. You ask the mechanic how this could happen and you find out that the dealership didn’t notify you about the hole in the gas tank.
The articles below will help you understand what an SSL certificate is, what it does, and finally, what it will cost you. Most importantly, it will highlight what it may cost you if you DON’T take any steps to secure your website. Let’s dive in and get some answers to these questions from some of the go-to experts that I rely on for great information.
Verisign outlines all the important information you need to know about SSL certificates in an easy to follow concise article. From answering the basic question of “What is an SSL certificate?”, “Are all SSL certificates the same?”, “Who May Need an SSL Certificate”, and “Where Can You get an SSL Certificate” it is a thorough primer on SSL certificates from the company that is a global industry leader in domain names and internet security. Verisign has been protecting DNS structure and maintaining operational accuracy and stability for .com and .net for over 21 years. You can read more at https://www.verisign.com/en_US/website-presence/website-optimization/ssl-certificates/
Four solid reasons that any website owner can understand. Brief, sensible, and very clear for a reader with limited time. If you don’t think about any other reasons to invest in an SSL certificate for your business then these four reasons should be all that you need. You can read more at https://www.business2community.com/cybersecurity/4-reasons-need-ssl-certificate-website
Elegant Themes takes the time to define some of the terms around this topic, specifically HTTP, HTTPS, and SSL including some of the SSL protocols. They also provide a great video in this post on how you can get a free SSL Certificate. Finally, they walk us through how to install the free SSL Certificate and recommend a compatible WP Plugin to use in the process. You can read more at https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/https-and-ssl-for-wordpress
WPEngine helps us take a very basic security audit of our website. Checking your encryption status literally takes a few seconds. Just look at the URL bar. Simple enough, right? The article also gives us some additional background on Let’s Encrypt that the article above, “The Ultimate Guide to HTTPS and SSL for WordPress”, introduced. WPEngine goes a step further and covers RapidSSL Wildcard Certificates as well as some caveats about security. Personally, I appreciate the last paragraph of this article as it emphasizes something about security that should always be considered, that security is made up many layers and components and should be deployed accordingly. You can read more at https://wpengine.com/blog/its-time-to-secure-your-wordpress-site-with-https/
If you have any questions about your website’s security, or you require help in updating the security of your website, we can assist you with that.