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Does my business website need an SSL certificate?

IT Blog from Resolve, IT Experts in Sheffield Does my business website need an SSL certificate?
Russell takes a look at why SSL certificates are vital for the security, SEO and the integrity of your business website.

SSL Certificates are vital for website security, protecting against cyber attacks and loss of data. Internet search engines such as Google and Bing penalise websites that don’t have an SSL Certificate. Websites without an SSL Certificate are given a “Not secure” warning label in the URL search bar, advising internet users that the website does not have security measures in place to protect their data.

If your website isn’t secure, this is how it will look to internet users when accessed:

not secure ssl certificate notice

This acts as a warning to your website users that their personal data is not secure and could be stolen by cyber criminals. For example, sensitive customer information could be stolen from a contact form or when someone is making a purchase and inserting credit or debit card details.

Download our five step guide to tip top business cyber security


How will this effect my business?

SSL Certificates are critical as they effect your SEO ranking and can put your entire business at risk from potential cyber attacks. Theft of staff usernames, passwords and sensitive customer data are a few of the risks of not having a secure website, and companies are now being fined heavily for data breaches. British Airways was recently fined £183 million for losing customer data via a cyber attack.


How do SSL Certificates work?

Encrypts Sensitive Information
The information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted. When an SSL Certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.

Protects you from Cybercriminals
Not only will your data be stolen, you risk significant fines which could cripple your business. Cyber hackers will identify weaknesses in your network… mostly when information is transmitted. Recently, cyber criminals have been refining malicious strains that are specifically designed to capture data while moving between destinations. You can learn more about how to reduce the liklihood of a cyber attack in this blog by Anthony:

Are SSL Certificates expensive?
No. Certificates can be purchased cheaply and implemented immediately to protect your website. Certificate renewal is typically done annually to ensure continuous protection.

How will I know my SSL Certificate is working?
If you are running a website with an active SSL Certificate, your website URL’s will display "https://" This means the page is secure and you will also notice a small padlock indicating to the user that they can browse and transact safely on your website:

ssl certificate secure website

If you see "http://" (note how the ‘s’ is missing). This indicates the page is not secure. If you have an SSL Certificate but a page displays http:// and not https:// - contact either your IT support company (if you are using one), Webhost provider, or check your website cPanel to ensure you have the correct settings activated.


Remember, it's your responsibility

Having a secure and trusted website is your responsibility. Loss of business through reduced customer traffic and the risk of a data breach are very real prospects harming your success for growth.


How Resolve can help you

It might be your responsibility, but you could always hire a bunch of technical specialists to look after your cyber security for you. We have a Managed Cyber Security Service where we have oversight of every area of your security, producing monthly audits to suggest improvements and keeping an eye on any potential vulnerabilities. Plus, we can get your systems in tip top condition, so you could pass the Government's Cyber Essentials scheme. 

download the cyber security ebook

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