As a business stakeholder, you make every effort to expand your business and give your customers the best experience. What makes you stand out is the brand experience that you provide to your customer and that is why security should be an important part of that experience.

Take, for example, a customer walking into a store to buy a product. Though it is not promised, it is understood that you will provide them with various facilities such as lighted showrooms and payment mechanisms. Likewise, when a customer visits your website it is understood that you will provide them with a good and easy to use interface as well as a secure payment gateway.

In order for your customers to transact using your website, you need to obtain an SSL certificate. Well, to be honest, an SSL certificate is needed so that a user can visit your website in the first place.

Without an SSL certificate, the browser of your user prompts them with a screen that shows that your site is not safe and asks the user permission to carry on browsing. Unless the user is in dire need of your product, it is highly unlikely that they will continue to your website despite it being unsecured.

For those of you with an already active and secure online presence, kudos! And for those friends who are still weighing the waters of an online presence here are some fundamentals of an SSL certificate explained through the help of the 4Ws and 1H.

1. What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate or a Secure Sockets Layer certificate is a necessary validation of a website that shows that the website is safe to use for both users and owners. It encrypts the information sent and obtained on your website and safeguards it against cyber crimes and fraudulent activities. There are several kinds of SSL certificates that you can get for your website depending upon your need and requirements. SSL certificates mutually benefit not just your business but also your customers as they lead to safe and secure interactions on the internet. Easy to obtain and maintain, an SSL certificate is the first step towards ensuring the security of your website and resultantly your business.

2. Why do I need an SSL certificate?

As mentioned, an SSL certificate ensures that all the information transmitted and collected on your website is done in a secure and compliant manner, making it necessary for your website. Moreover, every business that wants to maintain a legally compliant online presence needs an SSL certificate. Sensitive information is safeguarded through the help of such a certificate. It also authenticates your website making it unique. In addition to the above, websites that do not have an SSL certificate cannot hold a payment gateway as part of their sitemap as it is illegal to do so. Moreover, an unsecured website acts as an impediment for your visitors and maligns your reputation.

3. When do I need an SSL certificate?

Having a website that is optimized and built for lead-generation is a common practice for businesses. However, having a website also shows the positive direction that the business is headed towards in offering their users a seamless omnichannel experience. So, as soon as a business is ready to make their website active they should apply for an SSL certificate. Such certificates are available in multiple forms and come packed with multiple features. A business can choose an SSL certificate based on their requirements and needs. Having such a certificate allows your website to gain the most traction depending upon your marketing initiatives.

4. Where can I get an SSL certificate from?

A certificate authority (CA) is the body who is allowed to assign an SSL certificate to a website. There are several certificate authorities that offer such certifications of such kinds. There are multiple features that complement an SSL certificate, and so instead of getting lost in the choices, buy one that comes recommended for your business. You can choose a certificate authority basis their reputation in the industry and the kind of services they offer to post the issuing of the required certificate.

5. How can I get an SSL certificate?

There are various kinds of SSL certificates that certificate authorities offer. From single-name certificates to wildcard certificates, multi-domain certificates, and SGC certificates, businesses can get a certificate depending upon the number of domain and subdomains they have and the IP address they operate out of. There are several other details that need to be factored in before deciding the kind of SSL certificate that you should buy, but consulting a certificate authority is a prudent practice.

Now that we have established that an SSL certificate is imperative to the well-being of your online presence, more so your website, there are several ways that you can start the process. The most recommended approach is that you sign up for a free trial of an SSL certificate with a certificate authority. A free trial of the certificate lasts for up to 90 days depending upon the CA. So register yourself for a free trial today.

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