Ensuring your website has an SSL certificate delivers many advantages. Here we outline what they are and their use in view of GDPR and recent Google Chrome updates.

We’ve written about SSL Certificates back in 2015 and you can read that blog post here. This post is an update to highlight key issues that have changed over time and to explain the main benefits of having an SSL certificate for your website.

What are SSL certificates?

An SSL certificate is what enables the secure connection to your site using HTTPS and data that is transmitted to and from it is encrypted. Sites with an SSL certificate have a padlock in the address bar to inform visitors that their connection is secure:

Details can also be viewed when the padlock is clicked:

SSL certificates have always been a requirement for websites that deliver any kind of e-commerce activity as they collect details on payment cards etc. But now the benefits are becoming more widespread and an SSL certificate is increasingly considered a necessity rather than a 'nice-to-have' for any type of website.

Google Chrome Update

In July 2018, Google Chrome started marking non-HTTPS sites as 'Not Secure' – affecting all websites, including brochure/marketing websites. The result is not a welcoming start for your website visitor:

GDPR Regulation and how SSL certificates help with compliance

Whilst open to interpretation, it’s clear that you need to encrypt personal information during processing as part of GDPR. (eg. when accessing and interacting with a website). Any CMS where you login, transmits your username and password over the internet. By applying an SSL certificate you ensure that data is encrypted whilst in transit, protecting personal information from any unwanted interception.

Other factors in favour of SSL certificates:
  • They are a Google ranking factor so improves your SEO
  • They encrypt your data, keeping passwords, data collection and other information safe
  • They help to protect from cyber criminals and transit based attacks
  • They build trust and enhances your online brand as it helps protect your visitor's details.

Considering all the above benefits, we have now started to implement a policy to ensure there are SSL certificates in place on all websites we work with.

If you have any questions about SSL certificates, please contact us. We'd be more than happy to provide clear advise on how this could affect you as well as provide guidance on the type of certificate to best suit your needs.