Site Security: What You Need to Know
Let me set the stage: you’ve opening a new business, finally realizing years of dreams and planning. Your storefront is perfect and ready for business, your new website is shiny and well-designed, and it’s time to realize your dreams. Sure, the site isn’t secure but you can worry about that later. Site security isn’t that big of a deal, right?
Now fast forward a few years, your business is a raging success and you are buried with new orders. The task of ensuring your website is secure has long since been forgotten, but everything is fine and business is booming. But then the unthinkable happens and your website is the victim of an attack.
Now that minor oversight in the early days of your business has cost you everything. A single failing of your website security has become a massive headache that might never go away.
Am I being overdramatic? Maybe a bit, but a similar situation has played out countless times over the last two decades. A business looks to save fifty bucks in the early days of launch and ends up crippling the growth of their business. All over something as simple as an SSL certificate.
Is Your Site Secure
Here’s a scary fact: most people don’t even know if their website is secure. So, the first step toward correcting an unsecured website is to check if you even have an SSL certificate (or similar safety measures). Fortunately, this is an easy step to accomplish. HubSpot has a free site security checker – you just type in your URL and the good folks at HubSpot will let you know if your site is using an SSL certificate.
If you run your site through the checker and you come back secure, then congratulations! That doesn’t mean that you can totally remove site security from your radar, but you’re off to a great start. If your site isn’t secure, then don’t panic – just know that you have some work to do.
Understanding SSL Certificates
Many web designers and SEOs will talk about the importance of site security and SSL certificates without ever pausing to explain just what they are. For 90% of the population, technical discussions of site security will go over their heads. So, let me turn to HubSpot again for the best short description of SSL certificates:
“When you visit a website that’s encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the webserver, look at the SSL certificate, and then bind together your browser and the server. This binding connection is secure so that no one besides you and the website you’re submitting the information to can see or access what you type into your browser.”
But here’s some good news – you don’t have to understand the intricacies of site security and SSL certificates to use them. The most important thing is to understand that they are important and that your site needs to be secured – for the sake of both your customers and your business.
The Importance of Site Security
Maintaining a secure website benefits everyone. First, it helps to protect your reputation. Losing customers’ non-public information is a massive embarrassment that could end up costing you your business. This makes it vital to your continued success.
Second, it helps to assure customers that you are a trustworthy business. Many fly-by-night operations won’t invest the effort in getting an SSL certificate. So, having a secure website sends signals of trustworthiness to potential customers that come across your website.
And third, secure websites are good for your search engine optimization (SEO). Google is leading the push for a more secure internet. And they will continue to find ways to reward secure websites. Going forward, maintaining or improving your rankings will require a secure site. Google has even updated their Chrome browser to warn visitors if a site isn’t secure right in the URL/search bar.
Good News for Site Security
Maintaining a secure website means more than just getting an SSL certificate, but it is one of the of the most important steps you can take toward site security. The good news is that obtaining an SSL certificate doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. For a small yearly fee and a bit of behind-the-scenes work, you have to get your site updated in no time at all.
But, if you have a website with outdated security measures, it might be time to update your whole site while you’re at it. Every site that Fusion Group USA builds features the latest in security features and we have great options for SSL certificates. They are even free if you sign up for an enterprise level site! If you need help getting your website up to date and ready for the next decade and beyond, contact us today. We’d love to help you get the most out of your website!