Do I need an SSL certificate for my webpage?

You have likely heard of 128/256 bit encryption or seen a green EV SSL certificate address bar (check out our EV SSL certificates offer: SSL EV certificates), and now you are wondering „Do I need an SSL certificate for my webpage?”

Most of online buyers are rather cautious, and they want to be sure that the data they provide is safe. SSL certification responds to this need in two significant ways:
– It encrypts sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal data.
– It ensures that the visited page is trustworthy (the procedure of getting the certificate cannot make it 100% trustworthy, but makes it exponentially more likely, which has a serious impact on customers’ views).
These are some serious benefits and although some websites do not require EV SSL certificates, it is important for several types of pages to use an SSL certificate to gurantee a reasonable level of safety. To find out if you need an SSL for your website, answer the questions below:

Do I run an e-commerce website that gathers data about credit cards?

For most e-commerce websites possessing an SSL certificate is indispensable. As an online vendor, you are expected and obliged to ensure that the data gathered from your customers is protected. Proper Internet security is a much needed reassurance of safety for you and your clients. You are expected to make sure that nobody gets and abuses the data your customer send. They provide you with some vital and sensitive pieces of information that allow you to access their hard-earned money. If an identity thief gains access to a customer’s credit card because you have not taken appropriate safety measures, this may prove fatal both to your clients and your enterprise as well. They need to know you find their safety as well as privacy important and that you treat the matter of transferred data security seriously. E-commerce clients are becoming more and more safety-aware these days, and they will refuse to conduct any kind of transaction on website that has no SSL certificate installed. If you accept data concerning credit cards and store it in any kind of database to process it with an offline POS machine, or you collect it on your store page, you definitely need an SSL certificate to secure credit card data the moment they are transferred.

Do I use other parties’ payment gateways?

If your e-commerce website directs the customers to another a payment gateway provided by another party (eg PayPal) to enter some credit card data, you do not require a „high-end” SSL certificate”, because your website does not store any data about credit cards.
Make sure, however, that nobody transfers their credit card data when your domain is still shown in the location bar. Note that in the PayPal system, you may either accept credit card data on your own page or direct your visitors to the PayPal website. In the former case, you need a strong SSL certificate to provide a high level of safety to your customers.

Do I have a „logon” form?

If users enter their login and password to enter a website that is not SSL-protected, an attacking individual may intercept both the login and the password transferred with plain text. Such interception allows the attacker to personate the user whose data has been intercepted. Moreover, if such a user utilises the same data in other services, their data might also be used there (this might include even transaction sites eg. banking services). If you alow your visitors to enter their login and password, you have to take the responsibiity for securing them even though the safety of your site is not of critical significance. Unfortunately, it is true that at the moment most logon forms do not utilise any SSL certificates, which means that they are not properly protected. The availability of cheap SSL certificates makes securing your „logon” forms worthwhile (check out our offer : SSL DV Certificates). If you do not want to go for SSL certification and care to secure „logon” data, you can still use OpenID, Facebook Connect, or another technology, which enables users logging on another site and return to yours. With the development of new versions of Internet browsers, the usage of SSL certification will become and absolute necessity (check: Chrome’s warning of lack of SSL certification).

Do I need my own SSL certificate or can I use a shared one?

Many hosting service providers present shared SSL certification plans, which may be used instead of your own SSL certificate. As long as it does not cause any errors within your website, it is a viable option for securing logon and other sensitive data. On the other hand, a shared SSL certificate does not provide sufficient reassurance for the users, because it does not contain the name of agency or a website, for which the SSL certificate has been assigned, which may cause a mistrusted certificate warning to appear in users’ browsers. In short, if your website is just a blog that contains nothing more serious than a collection of the photos of your goldfish and it does not require anybody to logon, you probably do not need your individual SSL certificate or you may go for some cheap solution (check our offer: SSL DV certificates). If you do own a logon form, send or receive confidential data about customers, you need SSL certification (check our offer: SSL OV certificates). If you run an e-commerce website, where people share information about their credit cards directly on your site, an SSL certificate is indispensible. For maximising your enterprises’s trust, it is recommended that you own an EV SSL certificate – with a green bar (check our offer : SSL EV certificates).

Where can I purchase an SSL certificate?

Great! Now that you are certain you need an SSL certificate for your e-commerce enterprise or other kind of website, you may be unsure about what kind of certificate will be most suitable for your profile of activity. Contact our sales departament. You will receive any help necessary to choose proper certification solution for your needs. You may also check our offer on your own: The Cheapest SSL certificate solutions.

Also check out:

– SSL DV certificates
– SSL OV certificates
– SSL EV (green bar) certificates

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