What Is An SSL Certificate And Why Do I Need One?

The Rise of Cybercrime

As the internet continues to grow and manage more and more of everyday life, cybercrime is growing right alongside it. In 2019, a global study indicated that over 50% of people have been victims of cybercrime at some point, and the global cost of cybercrime is predicted to grow to 14 trillion dollars a year by 2025.

Focusing on Australia, in 2019, the Australian Cyber Security Centre received roughly 144 reports of cybercrime targeting small businesses every day, costing these small businesses an estimated $300 million that year. The estimate for 2019 is that cybercrime targeting both businesses and individuals cost Australia $3.1 billion that year.

We hope this gives you an idea of how much of a threat cybercrime can be to you, your business, and the internet in general.

Enter the SSL Certificate

Google decided they were going to take action to reduce cybercrime back in 2017 and introduced new rules about websites and SSL Certificates.

SSL certificates have actually been around since 1994, but Google announced in 2017 that they would be doing a few things to encourage their widespread adoption.

Now, if you try to visit a website without an SSL Certificate, you’ll see a warning like this:

Furthermore, Google is blacklisting sites without an SSL Certificate, which means they get pushed down the Google search rankings, and in extreme cases, will not show up in a Google search at all.

Many browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) will also do their best to prevent you visiting HTTP sites, and you’ll see a warning like the one above no matter what browser you’re using.

This means if you have a site without an SSL certificate, it’s almost the same as having no web presence at all. Most site visitors aren’t going to ignore that warning, if they can even find your site in the first place!

OK, I know I need one, but what is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and it means that any information coming from or to the site is encrypted, to ensure it can’t be intercepted. You can easily check if a website has a functioning SSL Certificate by checking for the padlock next to the URL, or if you can’t see the padlock, check that the URL starts with https rather than just http.

How do I get an SSL Certificate?

If OurAuto is hosting your website, you already have one! We’ve bundled it into the cost of hosting and take care of everything for you. If you don’t have one, get in touch with us about moving to our hosting platform and we’ll take care of the rest.