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.
Websites nowadays 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.
Your user’s security is a big benefit of encrypting your websites traffic. Another one is that it reduces the risk that your site will be tampered with. Non-encrypted traffic can be modified by anyone between your web servers and the users of your site.
Stripe, pay pal and other online credit card processing organizations require that a site is SSL compliant before being added to the site.
Another added bonus, it that it helps a site’s SEO to a small degree. Google looks for the certificate when ranking sites.
How to get 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. https://letsencrypt.org/ They provide scripts to automatically install free certificates on your webserver.
Also published on Medium.