In a recent article, I talked about which type of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is best for your business website. Business owners and website visitors are taking more interest in online security. Having a trusted SSL certificate on your website shows visitors that you are serious about website security. A trusted SSL certificate ensures a secure connection and protects your data transfers.

In 2014, Google announced that it believes all websites should take steps to protect a visitor’s information. Google began ranking secured websites higher than similar non-secure websites in 2015. In this article, I will discuss the extra steps Google is taking concerning trusted SSL certificates.

What is a Certificate Authority?

Website owners can obtain an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority.  A Certificate Authority is an entity that issues digital certificates. Companies use these digital certificates to verify the ownership of their website. They also use them to establish a secure connection between a business website and a visitor’s web browser. Common Certificate Authorities include Comodo, Symantec, GoDaddy, DigiCert, and Let’s Encrypt.

Do you have a trusted SSL Certificate?

A recent survey indicated that almost 60% of all websites are using an SSL certificate. But not all SSL certificates are created equal. In fact, Google, Apple, and Mozilla have all announced that they will stop trusting certificates issued by Symantec. Companies using Symantec as a certificate authority include Symantec, Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL. Starting in October 2018, your website visitors will see a warning on their web browser that your SSL certificate is not trusted (if you use a Symantec issued SSL certificate).

Digicert has taken over the issuing of certificates from Symantec. They are offering free replacement certificates to affected website owners. This process is not automatic. There are replacement instructions on the Digicert website.

Get a free trusted SSL certificate

Another option is to use a free trusted SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Mozilla, Oracle, and Blackberry all support Let’s Encrypt certificates. The best part of these certificates is that they are free. Why spend money purchasing certificates from other Certificate Authorities when you can get the same protection for free?

If your website is not using an SSL certificate or is using a Symantec issued certificate, then you should consider adding a new certificate to your website. Not only does having an SSL certificate protect your website visitor’s data but it may also help with your online search ranking.

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