SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and was created by Netscape. It's an encryption technology that creates a secure connection between your web server and your visitors' web browser allowing private information to be transmitted without issues like eavesdropping, data tampering, or message forgery. When installed on a web server, it activates the https protocol and shows the padlock.
SSL is the heart of our secure internet. It protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world and also boosts your SEO ranking. Google rarely reveals its actual ranking factors, but at the end of 2014 representatives announced they would reward sites using SSL certificates with a boost in the search results.
We studied the use of SSL for quite a while now, we left it out due to not especially informative results and for reasons of space. That said, nowadays, most computers can handle thousands of SSL requests simultaneously, the algorithms are very fast. For our e-commerce systems we use SSL certificates for the transactions, however, it would be better to provide this for all the sensitive information that is sent. It gives you an encrypted tunnel all the way to the end. It should be used anywhere information is sent and retrieved that should not be public. Believing that no one is watching the traffic between server and web browser is a very dangerous assumption, that's why we focus on various ways to secure this information.
The benefit of including an SSL certificate is that it also provides the user with information about the website owner, it will vouch for the domain or even provide the business name and geographic location depending on the certificate you choose. This way, visitors can be confident they are visiting a trustworthy website and that their data is protected.
SSL takes more server resources, since the information needs to be encrypted. Yet, with the proper server or specialised hardware, this impact can be minimised. It also poses an extra cost for a website owner. SSL providers need to set up a trusted infrastructure and validate your identity so obviously this involves a cost. Depending on the information you want to secure, a different SSL certificate is needed and a different cost will be charged.
Long story short, use SSL if there is anything you don't want anyone else to see going across a network that is not entirely in your control. Proper use of SSL certificates will help protect your visitors, help protect your website, help you to gain your visitors' trust and sell more.