VIDEO: One Simple Thing You Can Do To Improve Your Website’s Security

by | Feb 20, 2019 | The Internet

Creative Commons Music By: https://www.bensound.com

Surprisingly, far too many websites today are still missing this one simple thing that would greatly improve their website security.

So, what’s this one thing?

The answer… an SSL Certificate.

You’ve probably noticed some websites start with HTTPS and others start with HTTP. The S in HTTPS designates the site is using SSL.

Let’s dive into this in more detail below to find out why this is so critical.

You may also be interested in: How To Safely And Easily Manage Your Passwords

What’s An SSL Certificate? 

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and the technology is used to encrypt internet traffic between a user and your website.

If you go to a website without SSL, then all information transferred between your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) and the website will be sent in plain text. This means that if you enter in a password on a site that isn’t using SSL—or share any other confidential information—someone could intercept your this info.

And, even if you aren’t sharing confidential information directly on the website, your browsing activity and other details could still be intercepted.

This is why it’s so important for you to have an SSL Certificate on your own website. 

Consumers and prospects are becoming much more educated on things to look for to identify unsecure websites. And today’s browsers are making it easier than ever to do this.

Now, let’s look at how browsers are doing this. 

How To Tell If A Website Is Using SSL 

Both Google Chrome and Firefox web browsers make it easy to see if a website is using SSL.

For instance, with Chrome, it shows right next to the web address that a site is “Not Secure.” Take a look at the screenshot below for an example of ESPN’s website.   

As you can see, just to the left of the website address are the words “Not Secure.” Chrome makes it very clear when a website is not using an SSL Certificate

There can be other reasons for Chrome to label a site as Not Secure, even if the site has an SSL Certificate. However, you can click on the Not Secure text, and a box will pop-up telling you more.

Take a look at the screenshot below for an example. 

Again, even if you don’t have any contact forms or login forms for people to use on your site, you still need to have an SSL Certificate for your website. Do you really want people to see “Not Secure” when they visit your site? This is a quick way to send a website visitor to someone else’s (more secure) website.  

Although Firefox doesn’t say “Not Secure” to the left of the website address like Chrome does, it still shows an information icon that you can click and see that the site is not secure (see the screenshot below).

What Does A Site Using SSL Correctly Look Like? 

We’ve been talking about how modern web browsers are making it much more obvious to users when a site is not using an SSL Certificate, so what does it look like if a site is using one?

The first thing a user will notice is a lock icon next to the website address. And, if you click on the lock icon, it will tell you that the connection is secure. This is common across modern web browsers.

As you can imagine, this lock and secure connection will give your website visitors more confidence in browsing around.

Take a look at the screenshot below from our Pixelayn website.

What Now? How Do You Get An SSL Certificate? 

You now know why you need an SSL Certificate for your website. Yet, what do you do next?

Generally, the easiest way to get an SSL Certificate is to do it through your current web hosting company. The price of an SSL Certificate will vary depending on your web hosting company. However, one thing to keep in mind is that your SSL Certificate cost is a recurring annual fee (it’s not a one-time cost).

Okay, head over to your website and confirm whether or not it shows a secure lock or the words Not Secure. If your site is already secure, then great job… you’re already sitting much better than many other sites out there. 

Sure, there are plenty of other security considerations, but this is a great first step toward building trust in your website visitors.

If you have any questions, connect with us on Twitter (@TeamPixelayn) or you connect with me directly on Twitter (@rdglick). You can also email me at (ryan at pixelayn dot com).

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations