If you’re somewhat savvy about SEO, you may already know having Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on your website is important for getting ranked higher on search engines, such as Google. But what is SSL and why is it important now?

A green lock icon before a website’s URL indicates the site is protected by SSL, which we mainly attributed to secure shopping sites or large corporate sites. That’s not the case anymore. If your business website asks for any personal data whatsoever, it needs a security certificate.

Secure Socket Layer (now referred to as Transport Layer Security or TLS) is a way to encrypt and decrypt communication between a website’s server and the end user. A server is where your data is stored when you enter in your personal information on a website, whether via an email form or credit card form. Servers store the data you “submit” and TLS encrypts that data, protecting it from hackers. Basically, it keeps your internet transactions secure and your personal information private.

TLS has evolved from SSL, and SSL has evolved through the years per the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The Task Force has put protocols in place to unify the ‘net under certain online standards. In 2015, they prohibited use of the latest version of SSL, requiring any transactions online to be secured via the newer TLS certificate instead.

So, if your business website is still running under SSL 3.0, you’d better ask your hosting provider for an upgrade. We will cover more about secure website technology and SEO this month.