Data security in the E-commerce world: Is SSL the answer?

Almost everyone, young or old, business owner or casual buyer, is interested in data security these days, even though many people don’t know how it works or what it means. In this past decade, almost any relevant information about a person can be found online. This has, therefore, increased the need for a new type of security called data security, which is simply the process by which any digital information is protected from unauthorized access on the internet or even off it.

An e-commerce website especially needs this data security since it is one of the platforms that receive a lot of traffic containing sensitive user information like credit card details, address, social security number, passwords, and more. The best way for e-commerce websites to secure their users’ information is by using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate and encryption.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate:
Firstly, if you have a product or service that you offer on your website, you need to get your customers to trust your product. But even when they trust your product, you need to make sure that they feel secure when visiting your e-commerce website because they are most likely coming to spend their hard-earned money, and to do that, they might need to disclose some sensitive information on your website. They need to know that your website is secure when they do this. This is where the SSL certificate comes in. An SSL certificate on the surface serves as a badge that tells your clients and customers that their information is secure on your website.

In detail, here is how the SSL certificate works; whenever data is transmitted from the sender to the receiver, the SSL protocol encrypts the data so that hackers and identity thieves cannot steal that information. Depending on the sensitivity of the information transmitted on your website, you might require a domain verification SSL, Organization verification SSL, or an Extended Validation SSL which are types of SSL certificates. Here, we have discussed each of them.

Domain verification SSL
This type of SSL certificate is not expensive, and this is where cheap SSL certificate falls under. This covers the basics of domain verification and strong encryption of the domain name to secure ownership and web activities. Usually, this kind of SSL certificate can be obtained in a few minutes and with a minimum level of verification required. Examples of certificate authorities that issue cheap wildcard SSL certificates are COMODO, GEOTRUST, SYMANTEC, RAPID SSL, THAWTE, and more.

Organization Verification SSL
This type of SSL certificate is intended to be obtained by large organizations. The certificate requires more information from the owner of the website for business verification and a third-party database to take place. Information required may include the physical address of the website’s owner and registered name. This form of SSL certificate can take 2-3 days to complete. This type of certificate is a bit costly than the Domain verification SSL certificate

Extended verification SSL
This SSL certificate is for the big boys. It offers the highest level of security and validation to the users of an e-commerce website, and it also involves a high level of detail collection before it can be obtained. To obtain this certificate, it can take 5-6 days. This SSL certificate offers benefits like domain name verification, operational verification, and the physical existence of the owner, and business represented by the e-commerce website. Financial institutions, ecommerce, payment processor companies and organizations usually obtain this kind of SSL certificate.

The significant advantages of having SSL certificates
Now that you understand how SSL certificate works, here are some of the benefits you get when you invest in SSL certification.

An extra layer of security
With the use of an SSL certificate from any of the listed certificate issuing authorities, you can be sure that regardless of what kind of data security platform you use, having an SSL encryption would ensure that your users’ data is secure. We all know how important it is to prevent data theft of sensitive customer information and even company details. With this extra security layer, you are sure of your client’s safety.

Higher Google Ranking
With the recent rise in the number of prominent websites and companies coming out to reveal that their security systems have been breached, it is no surprise that Google is trying to push more secure websites than the ones that are not. Google announced that websites that use the HTTPS before their domain name rather than just HTTP would be pushed to the top of search results over the ones that don’t. The ‘S’ that comes after the HTTP indicates that your site is secure, and users can be sure that their data is protected on such a website.

The only way to get the HTTPS along with your domain name is by getting an SSL certificate from a certified authority or provider. For an e-commerce website, I don’t have to tell you how important it is for you to be ranked higher than other e-commerce websites; this can mean huge traffic and upcoming sales for your website.

Customer trust and reliance
Most clients and customers these days don’t give out their credit card information on websites that do not have the ‘HTTPS’ coming before their URL or website that doesn’t have the padlock symbol or green bar that indicates that it is secure for the transmission of private data. If you take advantage of securing your website with even cheap wildcard SSL certificate (if you host unlimited subdomains), you can be sure that you already have some customer trust on your side, which will come a long way in helping you make more sales and grow incredibly fast as an Ecommerce website.

So, to answer the question: is SSL the answer to securing your data on an e-commerce website? The answer is yes, SSL is a major part of securing your client’s data and ensuring that you always have your customer’s trust. You might still have to employ other security practices and tools, but with the use of an SSL certificate, you can be sure your site can be accessed securely on most or even all browsers without raising a red flag.

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