Posted On Thursday, April 29, 2021
Author: Philip Sampson (Account Director)
What is it? Seems like a good place to start. Secure Sockets Layer is what it stands for but that doesn’t really tell us too much so allow me....
SSL is a way of encrypting the traffic between a web server and your browser. You know that lock symbol you are always told to look for in your browser's address bar before putting your credit card details in online? If you can see that, then that means your connection with the website is encrypted. If you can’t, you will probably see a warning telling you that your connection is not encrypted and you should proceed with caution and a lack of trust… not something you would want people feeling when visiting your site.
Encryption is when all the data that is sent between a visitor and the website is scrambled in a way that only both ends can decode it with private encryption keys. This means that anyone ‘listening in’ to the connection will be completely unable to make any sense of the mangled mess. The whole set up is quite complex as you can imagine, but that is the general gist of it.
Some people will instantly think, so what? Websites are publicly available anyway. If a person with malicious intent wants to see the website, then they can just load it themselves. And for the most part that is right. Where SSL really comes into play is when transmitting personal data between the two points.
The main scenario where this really poses a risk with recruitment agency websites is when candidates apply for jobs or sign up for job alerts. Think of the details they share with you when they do this. If their email address got sniffed out then they would be opening themselves up to spam, or even worse, the evil eavesdropping netizens could contact the candidate pretending to be your agency and trick them into giving up information that could expose them to identity fraud. If they intercepted a resumé then think of the treasure trove of personal information they would have. And if the candidate found out that all this was because you did not lock down your website properly then that is not going to be good for your reputation at all.
Fortunately, SSL was rocketed into the mainstream in 2019 when Google announced that the latest version of Chrome would be displaying ominous looking warnings to its users when visiting sites that did not have satisfactory SSL implementation. With the boost in demand for SSL implementation and the security certificates required to make it work, services have popped up to make it easy.
Truth be told though; SSL is something that you should only have to worry about when building your website yourself or having a website built by someone who’s main pitch point is low cost instead of quality. And if that is the case, then SSL is only one of your probable problems. A reputable web developer will no doubt make sure that your site is SSL from day one. With that in mind, better to make sure in advance by asking before making any decision or dropping any deposits.
If you do have an old website though that has still been updated with SSL implementation then shoot us a quick message and we would love to help you out with that and make the internet a safer place for everyone.