Today’s online consumers are better educated about internet safety than ever before, and the majorities look for certain signs that a web site is safe. One of the most widely recognized security indicators are Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, which secure the connection between your web site and your customer’s browser. In fact, protecting your web site with an SSL certificate is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to stay on your site and make purchases. So, how exactly does SSL security do that?
SSL certificates from a credible provider like GeoTrust build confidence in your site so visitors will feel safer. When you work with a SSL company—also called a Certificate Authority or CA—you will have to undergo a vetting process to help ensure that your business is legitimate. You will be issued an SSL certificate only after your web site identity has been authenticated. Once you install an SSL certificate on your site, transactions between you and your customers will be encrypted or scrambled so that criminals cannot intercept the information and steal it. You will also benefit from a number of visible trust indicators that appear in the browser.
In most browsers, when a user visits a web page secured with SSL, a small padlock icon will appear in the browser and the URL address heading will change from http to https. Many SSL providers, including GeoTrust, also offer a trust mark that you can display on your site as well. A trust mark is a small image that indicates that your web site has been verified and is secure.
A well-placed trust mark can make a significant difference in how confident your site visitors feel about sharing their personal information with you—especially when it comes to financial information such as a credit card number. Research has shown that this confidence translates into an increase of completed transactions.
The most effective trust marks, like the GeoTrust True Site Seal, are dynamic. They let visitors click on them to get more information about the company, what kind of SSL certificate the business is using, when it expires. They also display a timestamp that shows that site’s security certificate is up-to-the-minute current.
For e-commerce web sites, using Extended Validation SSL is your best bet to ensure consumer confidence. When people who use high-security browsers visit a site protected by EV SSL, the address bar will turn green and display both the name of the company and the CA. EV SSL requires a more rigorous vetting process, which means only companies who have passed specific identity verification checks are able to trigger the green bar in customers’ browsers. Since the green bar is so easy to see, it’s the best way to communicate to customers that your web site is secure.