Ever notice the little lock in the corner of your browser's address bar? It only appears on some websites, and indicates whether or not the site you're on is adding a layer of protection for sensitive information.
What Is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a server and a browser. Encryption means that all data passing through will remain private and secure.
This is especially important for securing credit card transactions that happen online, for storing logins and any other sensitive information.
Where Do Certificates Come In?
All browsers have the capability to use the SSL protocol when interacting with web servers. However, both the browser and the server need what's called an "SSL Certificate" to actually implement a secure connection.
Essentially, SSL Certificates have to passwords, called keys. One is public and one is private - and together they establish an encrypted connection. This certificate is where the identity of the user is stored and information transfers from a browser to a server and back.
Why Is SSL Important?
As an ecommerce store owner, ensuring SSL is used is an essential part of your promise to customers, who are expecting their data to be secure.
This helps you create a trusted environment where your customers feel comfortable entering sensitive information like credit card numbers, addresses and phone number. With SSL connections, browsers can give visual cues like a lock icon or a green bar to indicate a connection is secure.
Shopify's Got You Covered
Over the last year, Shopify has been pushing for safer data exchange and made it so that any store powered by Shopify is using SSL certificates.
Included in every Shopify membership is full SSL capability, at no additional cost to merchants. From your Shopify admin, you can tick "Activate SSL Certificates" and all of your incoming traffic will be directed to an encrypted HTTPS connection.
Standard Shopify stores use a shared SSL certificate, which secures data through encryption. Shopify Plus stores have dedicated private certificates, adding a layer of protection through your own domain name.