SSL certificate – definition and why is it important?

SSL is an acronym of Secure Socket Layer. This is a protocol, which provides a secure connection between a server (where your site is located) and your browser (Chrome, Firefox etc). The protocol secures the exchange of data and prevents data interception from unauthorised users or programs.

SSL certificate are usually offered as a subscription service. They are mostly used by online institutions, which operate with very important data and financial funds. But lately many sites started using SSL certificates to guarantee security for their users.

If your web site operates with important information, that needs high protection, it is best to have such certificate on your web site.

Besides encrypting data, the benefit of having SSL certificate is the fact that it helps your search engine ranking. This means search engines prioritise web sites with SSL certificate.

There are portals which rate how secure a web site is. These portals sometimes give small countries (e.g. Bulgaria) very low ratings, since many of the online frauds come from these countries. But if you have SSL certificate these web portals should give you a better rating. You will need this if your main target group is located outside your country and you know they insist on privacy and security.

Examples for sites that use SSL certificates:

  • Banks
  • Online payment systems
  • Email platforms
  • Search engines

How to know which site has SSL certificate?

It is easy to tell which site has SSL certificate. Just point your attention to the address of the site. Standard web addresses start with http://, but the ones that have SSL certificate start with https://. These letters are coloured in green and have a locked padlock on their left.