Security for Your Online Customers: The Importance of an SSL Certificate


JP Hunt

JP Hunt is one of the founders of Inksoft, a company that offers a comprehensive business suite including an online designer, e-commerce platform and other business tools. He also is the vice president of sales and marketing. Contact Hunt at or visit the Inksoft website at

While many buyers today are used to making purchases online, they’re also wary. Many have interacted with or heard about scam websites that steal credit card information or deliver products that don’t look anything like the photos.

Selling online requires a high degree of trust from your buyers. Luckily, there are many ways to create this trust, from looking professional to being transparent about your process. A key piece that many shop owners overlook, however, is a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.

SSL is a protocol that creates a secure connection between a client and the server over which to send information. This certificate shows users that your website has been reviewed by a third party and deemed safe. SSL certificates are sold at different price points according to the depth of the third-party background check, and they display in different ways.

At the basic level, a secure site’s URL begins with “HTTPS” instead of the usual “HTTP.” With a more thorough check, your URL may have a small lock symbol appear in the browser box or even display in a separate box altogether.

You can usually purchase an SSL certificate from your e-commerce platform provider as an add-on. It doesn’t take much work on your end, and the relatively small investment is worth the trust it builds with customers.