Wednesday Website Tip: Keep It Secure!
Would you leave the front door to your business open all the time so that anyone could walk in whenever they wanted?
The answer is most likely "No... that's crazy!"
The same concept applies to your website! An unsecured digital presence can hinder your ability to reach and attract potential customers. Follow the steps below to start securing your website.
Step 1: Find out if your website is secure!
Visit your website and look at the URL box at the top of the page. Depending on the browser you may see a little lock icon, meaning that the website you are on is secure. Another way to check security is to double click on the URL box so that it displays the full website address, usually beginning with http:// or https:// - if your address includes the "s" that means it's secure.
You may also see verbiage mentioning an SSL Certificate, this certificate ensures that data is safely transferred from the user to the website's server.
Why is this important?
Search engines like Google and Yahoo maintain security standards for the websites they point their users to. If your website is unsecured with an SSL Certificate it is likely that it will be downgraded in search results, this could mean less visibility and fewer prospects!
Step 2: Obtaining an SSL Certificate
There are various ways you can obtain a valid SSL Certificate for your website. Many web hosts today will automatically provide you with a blanket certificate that covers the websites they host. The first, and easiest way, to get a certificate is to contact your web host and inquire about how to secure your website.
The other way you can obtain an SSL Certificate by purchasing one through a Certified Authority (CA). This option is more complicated as it requires you to configure the SSL into the framework of your website.
For more information, check out Google's awesome help section on SSL Certificates!
Step 3: Know how long your SSL Certificate lasts (if needed).
Chances are, if you obtain and configure your own SSL for your website, you'll know how long it remains valid for. A good rule of thumb is to visit your website every so often just to verify that it's still secure!
Staying up to date on your web security shows that you care about the people visiting your website! It also protects you from malicious cyber-attacks that can cripple your digital presence.
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