Finally. After two hours of hustling and bustling, the technician had been able to fix his American customer’s laptop. The clearly overjoyed gentleman readily agreed for an extension of warranty with the company and the excitement in the voice of the techie was palpable when he asked the customer to click on the all-important button ‘Pay Now’ All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere an error message popped up on the American’s laptop screen.
It read ‘There is a problem with this website’s security certificate’ with the recommendation to not continue further. Before the technician could recover from the shock of what had just happened and explain the American customer was long gone, phone line disconnected. Forget the sale the company had probably lost a loyal customer too. And all this only because someone had not secured the website with an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer an encryption technology that ensures that any sensitive data that gets transmitted between two computers does not get compromised. Trust is a key factor in every business, even more so on the internet where all the customer hears is a voice on the other side of the phone line. Data protection is a real concern in the virtual world and a new regulation called the GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation is set to become the norm in all of Europe by May of this year.
Under this, all companies that collect sensitive information from their customers will have to make sure they have put in place enough checks and balances to ensure that it does not get misused. Already other countries like Australia are expected to follow suit and put in place their own laws on data regulation. Are you ready for this? This is where SSL certificates will play a pivotal role and installing these on servers used by websites is a must.
And do not be under the wrong impression that since you are not an e-commerce portal this will not apply to you. Even if you are getting a customer to register for email newsletters from you that information will count as private and confidential. Failure to comply with these new regulations can have drastic consequences starting with a stern warning, then a hefty fine and finally the site itself being pulled down.
Once you install an SSL certificate the submitted web forms will be visible only to the business owner. It is equally important that these SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities or else there is a distinct possibility that your web browser may not trust the SSL certificate that is there. The other big benefit of installing an SSL certificate on your website will be on the SEO of your website. Of late most search engines factor in user experience while ranking your site and an SSL certificate increases trust & confidence in a customer thus making for a great user experience.
In conclusion one will again stress on the fact that SSL certification is mandatory for every business, big or small. Not just to ensure that data protection is adhered to all times but also in the best interests of their business. After all, a customer will be more than willing to divulge his/her personal details and do business with your company only if they trust you. It is this very trust that builds loyalty and helps in the growth of a business. Be it on the internet or the outside world.