Have you ever noticed a small lock icon appear in the address bar of your web browser? How about a web address that is displayed green? Or a URL that begins with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’? All of these are signs that you have a secure connection to the website you are visiting using a technology called, “SSL.”
SSL (or Secure Sockets Layer) has been around since the 1990s. Originally developed by Netscape, SSL encrypts the data that is transmitted between a user’s browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and the server that is hosting a website. So, if an intruder were to try and intercept any of that data en route from the browser to the server or vice-versa, all that said intruder would end up with is garbled nonsense.
While SSL is a fairly old and basic technology, it is also an effective layer of security that provides users with a sense of comfort and reassurance when visiting a site, particularly when they are providing personal information. And for anybody running a website, SSL provides insurance that their visitor will get the information they intend and nothing extra, like malware or unwelcome pop-ups.
SSL is regulated by Certificate Authorities (CAs), who hand out SSL certificates to websites who request them, usually for a fee. Recently, however, Squarespace took a huge step toward spreading SSL by partnering with the CA, Let’s Encrypt, to offer SSL certificates to every single Squarespace website absolutely free.
That’s right, in one fell swoop, Squarespace boosted the level of security on millions of websites, thus significantly raising the security level of the internet as we know it.
Squarespace automatically generates an SSL certificate for all custom domains and third-party domains. All Squarespace users have to do is enable “secure” as their security preference in the settings menu. Visitors will then be automatically redirected to a secure version of the website where they will see the lock icon in the address bar, and a URL beginning with ‘https’. Visitors to ecommerce sites will also see the URL ‘http://secure.squarespace.com’ when checking out.
Visitors to all Squarespace sites can now browse with the confidence and trust that their personal information will be protected. This is an especially big deal for Squarespace’s customers, so many of whom are small businesses who might not have otherwise been able to afford an SSL certificate on their own, might not have known they needed one, or may not have had the technical knowledge or skills required to implement that kind of security.
Internet security shouldn’t have to be complicated or expensive, especially when it comes to technology that has been around long enough that making it standard should be a no-brainer. With this move, Squarespace has taken a huge step toward making the internet a safer place for everyone, and toward making the process of securing your website hassle free.
This is just another reason we love Squarespace and trust them as a platform for our client's sites. Want to learn more about how we can implement a strategic, user-friendly, beautiful Squarespace website for your company in 2017? Let's talk about how the 10twelve team can help your company grow in the year to come.