Article number: 304228
Last updated: 21 March 2017


Does your website need an SSL certificate?

20 March 2017Madelon Kortenaar

Every day people are under threat from scammers trying to steal personal data. For example, they do this by leading the user to a website that is an exact copy of a well-known brand website to lure them in. The user may then be tricked into providing personal information, their credit card details or entering their username and password – sending this information straight to the scammer – and the damage is done.

Over the past few years there has been a tremendous effort by many different parties to make the internet a safer place. One of the technologies being adopted as a standard worldwide is the requirement for a simple online data file called an ‘SSL certificate’ associated with each legitimate website, that shows the website can be trusted, information is protected and is who it claims to be. This makes it more difficult for scammers to trick people into submitting their data on a cloned site, without an SSL certificate.

Google is now taking this further by highlighting that any website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate is insecure i.e. that there is no certainty that they are who they claim to be and that the information submitted to the website isn’t encrypted.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organisation's details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.

An organisation needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure.

Why does my website need one?

When a certificate is successfully installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPs, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’.

Depending on the type of certificate you purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet on, a browser will show a padlock or green bar in the browser when you visit a website that has an SSL certificate installed.

If your website does not have an SSL certificate installed, the browser will tell the user that a website is ‘not secure’:


What do I need to do to get an SSL certificate?

Get in touch with customer care coordinator Iona MacDonald by email:, or if you have a technical query please email or phone 0845 299 0900 to discuss the options for your website.

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    About Madelon Kortenaar

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    Madelon Kortenaar
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This article was last updated on 21 March 2017. Did you find it helpful?