What is the risk of not using SSL Certificate?

In an effort to achieve 100% internet encryption, various IT players are putting in resources and reputation to get this achieved. Let’s Encrypt CA started off by offering free SSL certificates so everyone could get access to the secure https protocol for their sites and emails. Google came in and has introduced several additional measures to push everyone towards using SSL. More applications, such as Outlook for Android by Microsoft require valid SSL certificates to work.

So, why is everyone so keen o ensuring secured connections across the internet? What is the risk of not using an SSL certificate for your website and emails? Here, we’ll have a look at that.

1. Your site visitors are vulnerable to attacks. An SSL encrypts communication between your website and the server the website is stored. If the SSL certificate doesn’t exist, then your data is not encrypted during transmission. As such this makes your visitors possible victims of Man In the Middle attacks. In this attack, a hacker will position himself between your website and the server, then tap information as it’s transmitted to and fro the servers. This information may include account login credentials, sensitive emails etc. They can then use these information for other gains which will definitely be disastrous to your visitors.

2. Browser distrust. The browser initiative was started by Google via Google chrome on July 14th 2018. The idea is to openly call out websites that don’t use https as Insecure. This means, if you are still running on http, anyone using Chrome 68 and above will be informed plainly that your site is not secure. Even if you arent running any malicious activity on your site, this is definitely a blow to your website traffic. Who will your visitors trust? Will they trust your word that your site is secure or Google’s word that it is not secure? Other browsers will be following suite too and every one will need to upgrade to https.

3. Poorer SEO ranking. Everyone wants their sites to rank well in search engines. But the various search engines, lead by Google aren’t having it with non-secure sites. If all other factors that contribute to SEO are held constant, a site with https will always rank higher than one without https. This has been so since August 2014 when Google announced this standard.

4. Your competitors will gain credibility. A lack of SSL on your site tells your customers a statement so clear no one can miss: “You don’t care about customer security”. If you are in business and your competitors are all out securing SSL certificates for their websites, some even an EV certificate, then you need to really think about the future of your business. People know and care about their data and security. If they feel these needs aren’t cared for by the current service provider, they’ll simply move to the competitors. You’ll loose clients and they won’t come back. If they have to come back, you’ll spend money getting them back. Secure your site and avoid all this fiasco.

5. You will spend more in the future. Right now, you may be all calm and feeling safe without an SSL. When the effects of not having one start folding in on you, you will need to spend a huge amount to keep up with the standards. Getting someone to handle the SSL things for you then will probably cost you more – after all you’ll be in need. Also, to get back your customers who fled to competitors, you’ll need to offer very good deals – which are good for clients but bad for you.

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