How an SSL certificate can help your small business

The HTTPS and a lock indicate a site is protected with an SSL certificate

Nearly every business on the market has a website where their customers can discover them. Consumers can purchase items, research products, and learn more by exploring this option. However, little security can put your customer at risk of hackers, malware, and viruses. Here are a few ways where an SSL certificate can help you.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is SSL?

As a business owner, protecting your website is an important task. If you are wondering what an SSL certificate is, it is a method to secure your page by encrypting the information that is on there. A significant portion of your client’s data is entered onto your site when they make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. If these items are left as they are, it is simple to steal them off your network by hackers or corrupted by malware or viruses. SSL guarantees to your customer that whatever they compute on the platform will be guarded carefully and will be coded before it is sent out. 

Indicators that a site has SSL

The most simple way to determine if a site is secured using SSL certification is to look for the “S” in the address. Websites that are less than protected will begin with HTTP, while those that are ideal to peruse start with HTTPS. You may also see a lock in the browser bar that indicates that it is a safe page to look at and is a company that you want to do business with. Watching for these signs is prudent for all consumers. You risk having your data stolen if you work with a web provider that has avoided updating its network with these tools. As an added bonus, your site is likely to get a boost in your SEO ratings if you choose to get an SSL certificate, which means more people will see your site than before. 

The HTTPS and a lock indicate a site is protected with an SSL certificate
The HTTPS and a lock indicate a site is protected with an SSL certificate.

Why you would get a EV certificate

An Extended Validation, or EV, certificate is vital for your organization if you intend to take payments on your website. This security keeps the transaction safe and encodes the numbers and other data before it is sent to the bank or other institution. To get this level, the group issuing it to you must verify that you, your company, and the country you sell from are legitimate. It can be costly for a company to obtain this. However, it can cost far more for a business to lose sales and revenue when they skip this option and choose to operate their page with little protection. Have your IT department research whether this is the right idea for you. If it is, add the price of certification into your budget. 

Why you would get an OV certificate

The highest level of security might be too expensive for you or you may have a business that has little intention to sell your products on the internet. If these apply to you, but you still want a high level of protection, Organization Validation, or EV, Certification may be the option for you. To signify that you have this service, you will find a small green lock on your address bar. You will need to prove that you own your company and that it is an operating corporation. It is less expensive than the previous SSL EV certificate type since it lacks the capability to encrypt credit card numbers and other sensitive material. 

Why you would get DV validation

Your budget may be too tight to afford the high level encryption but you still wish to get your site approved by an SSL organization. When you get a Domain Verification, or DV, certificate, your domain is analyzed for legitimacy. Your ownership will also be verified but that is all that must happen to obtain it. The group will be unable to know where your data goes when you transmit it and if the end user will be able to decipher it. You will have to be careful before you accept or send it to prevent thieves from stealing sensitive information. It makes it possible to secure your web page with a limited income.

Why you would get a Wildcard certificate

Your website has your primary domain that you utilize to attract customers to your company. You can also have subcategories that house your blog and your staff’s email accounts. To protect all of these addresses as well as your clients’ personal information, you should invest in a Wildcard SSL Certificate. This program is limited to the one main domain instead of multiple ones that you may have in service. It allows you to secure your presence on the internet while staying within your budget for IT services. It also keeps you far more organized than if you registered each name. You have to keep track of only one certificate and remember a single due date to renew instead of noting multiple expirations or monitoring many sites for their performance. 

Why you would get a UCC certificate

Owning a large corporation means that you might have multiple sites, possibly one for each product you offer. Instead of certifying each one separately and having to pay a significant amount to process it, you can apply for a Unified Communications certificate, or a UCC. This is also recognized by many in the industry as Multi-Domain. When you do this, the organization will document each page under your name as the owner. Each will be thoroughly inspected for ownership and other important information. You are able to encompass up to 100 domain names under one of these. If you do have more than that, you will have to ask for another one to service the additional addresses. You are able to correct mistakes or change the way the address line reads with this option. Your clients will understand that there are safe websites by the lock that accompanies the domain name in the search bar at the top of the screen. 

Getting a Single Domain certificate

If you are a small business owner and intend to put very little information on your page, a Single Domain SSL certificate. This must remain the way you originally set it up. There is little you can do to alter it once it is registered. This can be an inexpensive way to have a presence on the internet that is affordable for your budget. If you host your site on another host server, you can often get this service for free. Reach out to the organization that takes care of your web page and ask if they can provide this for you. If they do, request that they walk you through the steps to apply for it. It will take a few days to determine your final approval. Once you have it, your customers can browse your information with ease of mind. Your website is your central hub on the internet where clients can find out what you do and the products that you provide. However, keeping your, and their personal, sensitive information safe when it is transmitted to you is vital to preserving that relationship that you have with them. Getting an SSL verification ensures that the data that is sent between you is encrypted and secure as it travels. 

Do you have a small business with a web presence? Do you have an SSL certificate? If not, did you find this article useful? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.

Last Updated on April 6, 2022.

Screengrab showing option to purchase an SSL certificate