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Website Security

SSL Certificates and Web Security Are NOT The Same Thing

SSL Certificates and Web Security Are NOT The Same Thing (and knowing the difference is your key to safety!)

Let’s start with a story today.

Once upon a time, there was the most beautiful, bright and shiny website in all the land. It was modern. It was user-friendly. It was mobile-optimized. It was fully equipped with lead generation tools and e-commerce. The owners of this website thought they had it all.

But, despite all its fair qualities, the site was still missing one very important thing: an impenetrable wall of security to keep it safe and secure from cyber-dragons.

One day, a dragon swooped in to attack and, despite the site’s beauty, it was no match for this fire-breathing villain. All of the owners’ customer data was compromised, and it became a very ugly and costly problem to rebuild and repair.

Now, this isn’t just a fairy tale. Hack attacks are a very real thing. Keeping your website properly safeguarded is just as important as the way your website looks. It’s something that many people don’t even think or know about — or they may wrongly believe that their SSL certificate is protecting them and their customers. (Hint: It’s not!)

But, let’s back up. You might be thinking what the heck does SSL even mean?!

SSL can still lead to an SOS moment!

No, SSL isn’t the latest Urban Dictionary entry. But, it is an acronym that stands for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Here’s what you need to know: SSL has become the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted communication pathway between a web browser and a web server. For that reason, SSL is considered a best practice in website security because it can protect the integrity of the data that’s sent between the server and the browser. That means that its encryption helps provide secure transmission of information between you and your users.

Think about an SSL like a ninja fighting off anyone who tries to see or modify that data between you and your customers — what’s known as a “man-in-the-middle” attack.

Websites using SSL technology install an SSL certificate. You’ve probably visited countless sites that have it because you’ll see the URL load as HTTPS:// rather than HTTP://.

But, here’s the thing: SSL is only one brick in the website security wall that you need to build. It doesn’t protect you from those cyber dragon who want to hack your site.

So, how do you really keep your site safe?!

“Website security” is defined as a collection of processes and technologies — including SSL — to protect a website and all its users’ information. There aren’t really any one-size-fits-all, turnkey solutions. It’s more about the right combination of security measures for your site, the type of business you conduct, where your site is hosted, and other variables.

Because WordPress is one of the most used website platforms, there are many security measures specifically designed for this platform, including plugins that can do a variety of security tasks. You can learn more about those here.

Third-party services to protect all sites include:

➡ Malware and Virus Detection A.K.A. Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Protection: You’ve likely seen this scanning software to detect fishy activity. Of course, some are better than others.
➡ DDoS Attack Protection: Distributed Denial of Service attack protection helps deal with internet bots.
➡ CAPTCHA Security: If you’ve had to write a series of letters/numbers you see on screen or pick every photo with a tree in it, you’ve experienced CAPTCHA. Its purpose is to screen out bot submissions to your site and prevent malicious links or spam comments.
➡ Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Access Controls: Don’t underestimate the power of a firewall plus passwords and other control measures to fend off hacks.

Not sure what to do next?

We fight cyber dragons here at CRANK Digital Marketing Authority. Not only do we create those beautiful websites, we ensure they are pretty (and SAFE!) from the inside out. Website security comes first in our world when we’re designing and optimizing sites, and we can help you build all the right walls. To learn more, reach out here.

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