To answer the question on whether you need an SSL for your site, we need to find out what an SSL is.

An SSL (or Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication. The usage of SSL technology ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted.

Now, the question becomes whether you need one or not. The answer depends on what you are doing with your site and what warnings you are OK with.

If you collect credit card information on your site and / or store credit card information on your site, you absolutely need an SSL to ensure the credit card information stays secure and cannot be compromised. However, many of our clients use PayPal for their credit card processing, which handles the collection and storage of credit card information on PayPal's own secure server. For those clients who are using PayPal as their payment processor, the short answer is you do NOT need an SSL for your site for any type of security concerns.

However, for the past few years, Google and other large Internet companies have been pushing legitimate websites to obtain an SSL to show they are, in fact, legitimate. Because of this push, some web browsers and search engines, such as Google and Chrome, are showing an insecure warning when accessing any site that does not have an SSL. Although this warning is sometimes prominent, it does not mean your site is prone to hacking or personal information can be stolen from your site. It just means you do not have an SSL installed on your server.

As noted above, an SSL is not required unless you collect or store credit card information on your site. If you do not, then you do not need to have an SSL. There is not any harm in having one even if you do not store credit card information, and it will remove the warnings given by some web browsers. An SSL does add an additional cost to your site, though, usually around $125 per year. If you would like more information about purchasing an SSL for your website, please contact support@surfnewmedia.com

Further Information

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