SSL stands for a Secure Socket Layer. Whenever you go on a site that has the lock next to the https://, that means it has been secured with a secured socket layer (SSL).
Translation: it is a certificate that a third party has put onto a website that certifies that the data that you enter into that particular website is going to be encrypted for your protection.
These days, all websites need to have this, but sites where is absolutely necessary would be e-commerce, healthcare, government, and any site the personal identifying information is being requested.
User security benefits from encrypting your website’s traffic. It also reduces the risk that your site will be hacked. Non-encrypted traffic can be modified by anyone who can tap a connection between the site’s server and the user’s connection.
Stripe, PayPal and other online credit card processing organizations require SSL compliance.
Another added bonus, it that it helps a site’s SEO to a small degree. Google looks for the certificate when ranking sites.
How do you put an SSL on your website?
There are many options to get SSL support on your site. Some of them free; we use Cloudflare for all our hosted sites. It provides free TLS support along with a number of performance and security enhancements.
Let’s Encrypt is an industry consortium dedicated to making all web traffic encrypted. They provide scripts to automatically install free certificates on your server.
Also published on Medium.