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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are the standard technology that is used online to establish an encrypted connection between a server and a web browser. When installed and used on a website it creates a secure connection meaning all of the information and data that passes between the users browser and the server is encrypted. This way the users details remain safe and maintains internet security, something that is particularly useful in areas like e-commerce where people’s card information is supplied.

The major purpose of an SSL certificate is encryption, ensuring that it is only readable by the parties intended to see it. This is important as a lot of information that is submitted on the internet via forms or at an online checkout passes through more than one computer before reaching its final destination. Therefore, it is vital that it remains secure until it gets there.

The certificate achieves this by inserting random characters into the original information, making it impossible for anyone to decipher without the proper encryption key, meaning that if it does go astray, it cannot be misused.

Away from the actual technology benefits of having an SSL certificate, there is the effect that it can have on consumer confidence. The presence of the small padlock and the HTTPS element of the web address are major plus points in making potential customers feel safe and secure about using their details to purchase from you.

SSL certificates also help guard against any attempts at phishing. Sadly, every day, there are many attempts to gain someone’s credit card details via email phishing. Fortunately, these campaigns find it next to impossible to gain a valid SSL certificate and when customers notice the lack of it, they leave without supplying any information that could have been stolen.

The other benefit is that recently Google has said it is going give a SEO bump to sites using an SSL, so not only is it more secure but it could also help your search engine rankings.

An SSL certificate works for businesses on so many levels, can you really afford to be without one? Prices start at just £99 per year or £149 for 2 years.