Is SSL Essential for eCommerce Sites?

As the number of eCommerce websites grows, the security software must improve to protect webmasters from hackers acquiring sensitive customer information. One such technology is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which permits the site administrator to transfer the contents of web pages to visitors over a secure protocol (HTTPS versus HTTP). One example of this technology is with banking websites.

Should eCommerce Websites Use SSL?

However, this begs the question, should eCommerce websites also use this type of security? They all handle important customer data that could be harmful if released to the wrong hands. This really depends on the type of business and functions the website serves. For instance, for websites like online stores that collect credit card numbers, addresses, emails, phone numbers and names, SSL is a necessity.

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SSL and the Front-End Store

However, there are a multitude of websites that only serve as the front-end of the store and all transactions are managed by a third-party payment processor which utilizes SSL encryption. In this situation, SSL may not be a requirement. However, webmasters in this situation may still wish to add the security software. This is especially important if collecting user information such as names and email addresses; even if no financial information is transferred.

Find an eCommerce Package

For websites that only provide basic contact information, SSL encryption is not necessary. If you decide to implement SSL encryption onto your website, it is critical to find a web hosting provider that offers some type of eCommerce package. Many of these plans provide a specific IP address for SSL to ensure the highest level of protection.

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Ask About Specific Items Included in the Package

In addition to the basic eCommerce plan, you will also need to purchase an SSL certificate which is a digital item that may be provided as part of your eCommerce web hosting package. It is always a good idea to ask about the items specifically included in the eCommerce package prior to signing a contract.

SSL technology has become a vital part of the eCommerce industry. However, it is not essential to every site. Those that will be most affected by the technology are sites that collect specific information such as banking, detailed contact information, telephone numbers and email addresses. Since this could compromise the most important data about an individual, it should always be protected by SSL encryption.

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