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You want people to trust your site and that requires a valid secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.
SSL certificates are issued by a certificate authority (CA) and they build trust in two important ways:
- The CA authenticates the identity of the organization that wants the certificate. This way, people know that they are in fact sending their information to PayPal, for example, and not someone who has set up a fake PayPal site.
- The SSL certificate encrypts the data travelling between your website and visitors. This way, potential attackers can’t steal the information people share on your site, such as their username, password, or credit card number.
Today, all of the popular browsers like Google Chrome will warn users anytime they attempt to visit a site without an SSL certificate. It’ll say something like “This site is not secure,” or “Any information you share may be vulnerable to attackers.”
It’s not great for business, to put it lightly.
Would-be visitors are going to head to a different site where they feel comfortable entering their credit number. I know I would.
There are a lot of different CAs to choose from and they sell a range of SSL certificates designed to help companies establish their online identity and protect their customer’s privacy.
For some people, going with a free SSL certificate is going to be perfectly safe…