The Important Difference Between SSL Certificates and Web Security

The Important Difference Between SSL Certificates and Web Security

Those new to websites and e-commerce may find website security a bit confusing. You may have started your website or blog using WordPress due to the ease of its content management system or design templates. It doesn’t provide push button security though. You have a few hoops to jump through to secure any website. One of those is obtaining and activating an SSL certificate. Some people confuse this with meaning their website is secure, but it really comprises a small part of security.

SSL Certificate Defined

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides an encrypted communication pathway between a web browser and a web server. Doing this protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Sites using this standard security technology purchase an SSL certificate and install it to their server. When a visitor loads the site after this installation, it loads using HTTPS rather than HTTP.

Beginning with Google Chrome version 68, any website not using an SSL certificate appears as “Not Secure” in the address bar. That does not mean the site does not use website security measures. It means it does not use an SSL certificate. If it doesn’t transmit data via a form for a contact form or online orders, it simply may not have seemed necessary. But, having an SSL certificate does not make a website secure. It comprises one step of setting up security.

Website Security Defined

Website security refers to a collection of processes and technologies implemented by people to protect the website and the information of its users. In addition to an SSL certificate, a secure site would also use technologies like captcha security, a Website Application Firewall (WAF) and access controls like passwords. Another need is anti-virus and anti-malware protection because websites, like computers, can become infected with malware and viruses.

Don’t confuse SSL certificates with having a fully secure website. You do need SSL, but it comprises one step in the process of website security.

Contact us at Lowcountry Media Solutions for help securing your website. We help Charleston, SC businesses present a professional, secure face to the world. Let us help you with design, development, marketing and security.