Whether we like it or not, web security is a widespread problem that’s not abating anytime soon. The number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2014 hit a record high of 783 in 2014, according to a report released by Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). This represents a substantial hike of 27.5 percent over the number of breaches in 2013.
However, it’s not all gloom and doom. There are simple, affordable steps you can take to reduce security compromises. But first, let’s understand where you are as the owner of a small business website. Your top Internet security concerns are:
- Protecting your website from attackers
- Preventing your customers’ data from getting compromised
With that in mind, let’s get the bad news out of the way: these threats are very real and your website isn’t immune from them, no matter the size of your business. With over three billion malware attacks per year (according to Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2013), a typical website can have hundreds or more potential vulnerabilities that attackers can leverage to compromise your site, infecting it with malicious software, known as “malware.” What’s more, if your website transmits sensitive private data such as username, passwords and credit card numbers, third parties can easily "snoop” the data that’s sent between your visitors and your website.
Tools to protect your website
With the bad news out of the way, let’s get to the good news – there are simple, cost-effective tools to protect your website, your customers’ data, and your business.
One of the ways to protect your site is with an SSL Certificate. An SSL Certificate is the standard security technology that protects millions of websites by encrypting communications between visitors and websites. Third parties cannot decipher the information – even if they intercept it – which makes eavesdropping futile.
There are multiple types of SSL Certificates, including "domain-validated" SSL certificates and Extended Validation certificates. Each of these types of certificates has different properties.
A basic domain-validated SSL certificate verifies the ownership of the domain name that is being protected by the SSL. This lets customers know they’re dealing with a legitimate website and not an imposter.
The most vigorously verified certificates, Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates, go even further in building customers’ trust by displaying the name of the business at the top of the browser window and activating the green bar in browser. Building that kind of trust with customers pays off in the end. The right SSL certificate has been demonstrated to increase online transaction and conversion.
What does an Extended Validation SSL look like?
It’s easy to demonstrate your website is secure. When visitors enter an SSL-protected page, their browser bar will display a padlock icon and https:// prefix in the URL address. With an SSL certificate, you can also install a site badge that provides additional information about your website and verification that it is secure.
Even more benefits
The benefits of SSL can extend beyond just encrypting the information flowing to and from your site. Google now uses HTTPS as a search signal in their ranking algorithm. This means Google gives preference to sites that are protected by SSL and will rank them higher against those that aren’t protected by SSL certificates. An SSL certificate not only protects your visitors’ sensitive data, but also may improve your Google rank.
Are you ready to get an SSL certificate now? All that technology might sound intimidating, but you can start protecting your website in minutes. For SSL certificates, the steps you take to request and install the certificate depends on where the website is being hosted.
For customers hosting through GoDaddy, it’s incredibly simple because we take care of everything for you. All you need to provide is which domain name you want to protect. You can learn more about our SSL certificates here.
For your business to succeed, customers need to trust you. If your website asks for sensitive information — social security numbers, credit card numbers, usernames and passwords — your reputation depends on protecting every detail. Protect your website now.