A website is just a website right? I mean, it just displays information to promote a business, and will often have an area where people can contact you. A common misconception is that a website can be built by anyone and if it looks ok, it is good enough. Nothing can be further from the truth.

A website is a machine. It's function is not just to display information about your business or services, but also increase the credibility of your business. It's required to encourage people to come to your website, and to convert them into a customer. A website is also responsible for ensuring that information collected from people is secure.

What is website security?

Website security is the method of ensuring information collected from people is transferred and stored in a safe and secure fashion. The website is responsible for ensuring it has measures in place to prevent it from being hacked. A good website developer will know how to protect a website from common hacking methods, and will develop a website in such a way to minimise any risk. However, even if a website is programmed well and has preventative measures in place to prevent hacking, information can still be stolen.

How can information be stolen?

To answer this question, we must look at how internet technology works. A website is located on a computer (or computers) somewhere in the world, and that computer has an IP address. On that computer will be one or more websites, and by typing in a Fully Qualified Domain Name into a web browser (such as http://jubec.com.au) the website will display. When a person loads a website and wants to send information back to the website, the user will often type in information into a form on the website. On a 'Contact Us' form, they will fill out their name, their email address, and their enquiry, and then press the submit button. And this is where things get interesting.

Jubec Contact Us Form
A web form that collects information from website visitors

When the user submits a form, the information is sent to the computer where the website is hosted. However, to reach the website, information will pass through many other computers along the way until it reaches it's destination. This is because of how the internet is structured, and a good analogy for the internet is a city. It is impossible to drive to the other side of a city by using just one road. You have to drive through many roads, passing many intersections. You have the choice to get to your destination by taking many different routes. Some will be quicker, some will be slower. The Internet works in much the same way. Information from a user's web browser is first sent to their Internet Provider (ISP). The ISP will examine the data and will then forward it on to another computer that is closer to the destination. The next computer will collect the information, analyse it and will then forward it on to the next part of the journey. And this continues until the information reaches it's end target. By the time the information reaches it's destination it has passed through many different computers.

A normal website will send information unencrypted. This means that anything that is typed in by users will be sent across the internet in a human readable fashion. It is this part of the journey where information can be stolen. Information can be obtained by hackers before it even reaches the website's server.

Thankfully there is a way to prevent this risk. Installing an SSL Certificate on your web server and setting up your website to always use the certificate will ensure all communication between your customers and your website is performed in a fully encrypted, secure way. All information sent from people to your website is secure. Hackers will be unable to decrypt the information being transferred across the internet.

Added bonuses of SSL Certificates

As necessary as it is to ensure people interacting with your website are protected, There are other legitimate reasons why every website should use an SSL Certificate:

SSL Certificates - What are the options?

There are a number of different types of SSL certificates that can be purchased for your website. There are also a number of different SSL Certificate providers that offer differing pricing for their products. There is no 'one size fits all'. Here is a list of the most common types of SSL Certificates:

To get your website onto SSL, contact us today!

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