When a client or prospect tries to access your site, the last thing you want is for a giant warning screen to pop up – it just screams “scam.” But that’s precisely what’s going to happen if you don’t register your site’s SSL certificate.

Since May 1st, the Google Chrome browser started showing a full-page warning whenever users access an HTTPS website that’s using an SSL certificate that has not been logged in a public Certificate Transparency (CT) log. If you don’t know what that means, you’re not alone. Many small business owners have never heard of an SSL certificate, nor understand how to register one.

What is SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. You’ll need one if you collect any personal information from clients. It’s important to make sure that any private data you request is kept that way, both for your clients’ sake and your own.

When information is encrypted, it ensures that all information passed between your website and the server remains confidential. Without it, any shared data (such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and so on) can easily be accessed by third parties. This leaves your clients vulnerable to identity theft and your site open to hacking.

Secure Protection

When your clients understand that your site is protected by an SSL certificate, it helps them feel secure about doing business with you. For the tech-savvy, it’s always been easy to tell if a site was protected. Certain visual cues, such as a lock icon in the address bar, assured the presence of an SSL certificate. For others, who had never heard of an SSL certificate, it wasn’t so obvious. But with Chrome’s new warning system, everyone will know immediately if browsing your page is risky.

A Critical Measure of Safety

Today, having an SSL is more critical than ever. With hacking incidents on the rise, it is essential that you protect your site and those who use it. The governing authorities agree. Net regulations state that any Certificate Authority (CA) must publish logs with all the SSL certificates that they’ve issued each day. These logs, private in the past, can now be accessed by anyone wishing to view them.

If you process credit card information through your site, you’re already required to follow Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), or you’ll be in violation of PCI compliance. The PCI SSC (Safety Standards Council) was created in 2006 with an aim to improve transaction security. Today, those same standards establish a minimum requirement for consumer safety. As part of the first tier of security measures, all businesses which process credit cards online must hold an SSL certificate.

Go For The Safety Net

Even if you don’t process payments, it’s a good idea to have an SSL certificate. If you want to make your page compliant, it’s easy to do. There are specific companies in charge of issuing SSL certificates, and we are happy to help guide you through the process. No matter what company you choose, several checks will be performed to ensure that your business is a legitimate entity – which is why consumers trust them so much.