Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My Website?

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Do I Need An SSL Certificate On My Website

If you ask, “do I need an SSL certificate on my website?” the answer is yes. An SSL certificate is not a luxury but a necessity. As you need locks for your doors, you need an SSL certificate for your website. An SSL certificate can build trust among your clients that you are a legitimate owner of the website and will also encrypt any conversation you have with your clients.

If you ask, “Do I really need an SSL certificate?” the answer is yes, you really need an SSL certificate to do the following:

  • Verify ownership of website for the user
  • Secure the communication between client and user
  • Rank higher on user search on search engines including Google and Mozilla
  • Comply with PCI DSS standards for accepting payments online
  • Collect data of website visitors

6 questions you need to ask yourself to decide whether your website needs an SSL certificate

If you’re wondering, “do I need an SSL certificate for my website?” or “why do I need SSL for my website?” you are not alone.

The reason that people install an SSL certificate is that it enables data encryption and vets the applicant’s identity and domain ownership to protect the data in transit. A website with an SSL certificate is considered secure in the eyes of search engines, and it’s rewarded with a padlock sign in front of the domain name as a result.

But what value does it bring to your website? And more importantly, does your website need encryption and identity assurance at all?

Why do you need an SSL certificate? SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the ownership of your website. It also helps you to create a secure communication path with your clients. An SSL certificate can help you build trust among your website visitors as a third-party CA (Certificate Authority) has validated your website. Search engines including Google Chrome and Mozilla consider website security as a factor for ranking searches.

We don’t want to preach anything or indulge you in buying any product. Instead, we have asked you (the website owners) six questions in this article to help you make an informed decision. If any of the questions’ answers is “yes,” then you need an SSL certificate. 

So, without further delay, let’s dive into the self-assessment questions related to the SSL certificate.

1. Do You Take/Handle Customer’s Financial Information?

If you

  • have an ecommerce website, or
  • have paid membership or subscription-based revenue model, or
  • are raising donation, charity or conducting a fundraising campaign

then an SSL certificate is mandatory for your website.

Users’ financial information, such as credit card/debit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc., is a virtual gold mine for attackers to commit financial crimes. If such details are leaked from your website, your organization becomes subject to a hefty legal penalty. See the Wawa data breach as one such example.

Additionally, an SSL certificate is a crucial requirement under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for all merchants that handle clients’ payment card information online.

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to protect users from becoming victims of financial fraud and your business from the heavy data breach penalty!

2. Does Your Website Collect, Process, or Store Sensitive Information?

Does your website have any type of form (contact form, subscription form, etc.) that gathers customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) or any other sensitive information? This includes a variety of information such as:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Health-related data
  • Taxation related data
  • Social security number
  • Driving license details
  • Passport number

If your answer is yes, then you need an SSL certificate to protect such information.

PII theft is dangerous. These types of information are permanent or difficult to change, and hence, they are used for identity theft. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it’s the business’s responsibility to protect their users’ sensitive data.

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to protect users from identity theft incidents.

3. Are Users Going to Enter Their Login Details on Your Website?

If your users need to create an account to get access to some portion of your website, then you must protect their login credentials. If an outsider gets unauthorized access to the user’s profile, they can misuse the user privileges. Also, a sad reality is that people tend to have the same password for many other websites and devices. So, if a user’s password gets leaked from your website, the attacker can get access to their other important accounts (such as a bank account, social media profile, etc.) using that same login information.

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to protect your website visitors’ login credentials.

4. Do You Want to Increase Your SEO Efforts?

Since 2014, Google has considered an SSL certificate to be one of the important ranking factors for websites. If all the elements are the same, the search engines will give a higher rank to a website with an SSL certificate over one without it on their search engine results pages (SERPs).

It takes a lot of effort and money to have a good SEO posture. But if you miss an SSL certificate, your entire SEO strategy is going to have a significant flaw in it.  

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to get a better ranking in search engines’ SERPs.

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5. Do You Want to Gain Users’ Trust?

People are becoming increasingly tech savvy these days. If they see a “Not secure” sign right in front of your domain name, chances are that they won’t trust your website. Why would someone share their financial or personal information on a platform that’s clearly marked as being insecure? Even if your site is just a blog, informative platform, or personal website, such a warning leaves website visitor feeling vulnerable.  They’re unlikely to click on links, advertisements, videos, images, or any type of media on an unprotected website.

This is why a secure padlock icon is necessary for making users trust your website. Plus, if you have uploaded a trust logo (also known as a site seal) from a reputable organization on the footer, check-out page or shopping cart, it can significantly boost customers’ confidence. Live (dynamic) site seals are available for free with all the Sectigo SSL certificates.

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to gain website visitors’ trust and make them feel secure on your website.

6) Do You Want to Protect Your Organization and End Users?

All commercial SSL certificates come with third-party warranties that range from $10,000 to $2 million (depending on the brand and type of certificate)! This means that if a data breach takes place as a result of an encryption failure (which is extremely unlikely), the SSL certificate’s warranty works like insurance to protect your organization and any affected end users. The CA who issued the certificate must pay restitution (up to the warranty amount).

The warranty can also be utilized if the CA mis-issues a wrong/faulty SSL certificate that results in redirecting the users’ data to the wrong (unintended) server.

Q: Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?

A: Yes, if you want to protect yourself and your customers financially in the unlikely event that something goes wrong with your certificate.

Save 79% on SSL Security Certificates!

Get the lowest prices on trusted SSL certificates from Sectigo.

Shop Now

That’s it! So, ask these questions to yourself and decide how important an SSL certificate for your website. Check out if you want great deals, attractive free site seals and to take advantage of the reputation of the two decades old brand Sectigo (formerly Comodo CA) and its reputable sub-brands like PositiveSSL, Essential SSL, Instant SSL, and Enterprise SSL. We sell SSL certificates from as low rate as $8.78 per year!

Learn About Standard SSL Certificates