By Rick Maré, Founder & CEO, JXT    Connect with Rick on LinkedIn

In January 2017, Google began a journey to change the way Chrome communicates the security of HTTP pages. HTTP pages are marked as “not secure” if they contain password or credit card fields. From October 2017, Chrome will have a “not secure” warning in two additional scenarios – data entry on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in incognito mode. Further information on this change is detailed in Google Security Blog.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to encrypt information transferred across the Internet. The protection mechanism works through an SSL certificate that lets visitors navigate a website over a secure connection. Simply put, it builds trust and promotes a healthy eCommerce ecosystem through a safe and security-centric web experience. SSL encryption is crucial when sensitive personal information is entered on a website, online purchase or blog.

However, an SSL certificate goes beyond just data encryption. It is a powerful trust signal for your visitors and increases sales, form submissions, or any initiative you require from your website.

Vote of confidence

These visual cues project assurance of a secured connection. Visitors will recognise these signals and they validate their online experience comes from a trusted source. Clicking on the lock icon will reveal detailed information on the website, including data on cookies and stored passwords on the domain, which elevated the level of security knowledge SSL places in the visitors.

SSL encryption not only protects against intrusion on vulnerable data, but it could also prevent an occurrence of fake websites tricking users through impersonating legitimate brands or people.

SEO Booster

Although the primary function of SSL is to secure the transaction of sensitive information, it is also increasingly becoming a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm. According to Google Webmaster Trend, Google has been conducting tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in their search ranking algorithms. They have seen positive results, hence HTTPS is becoming a rising ranking signal.

How do you tell?

When you see a website with SSL, there are a few distinctive features displayed within the browser:

  • The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) denotes “https://” and not “http://”;
  • There is a padlock icon in the URL bar; and
  • The certificate must be valid despite meeting the above two criteria
    • Click on the padlock icon and choose “certificate information”, which will take you to a certification authority page with the time frame of the certificate. If the “not valid after” date is in the past, you know it has expired.

Get protected

Firstly, you need to ascertain the type of certificate that fits your business needs. Your consideration should cover the number of certificates that are required, the chosen domains and their configurations, and decide if you need to purchase a specific type of SSL certificate. A key thing to remember is the validity period – most standard SSL certificates last for 1-2 years – if you are aiming for longer-term options, then you need to look into more advanced certificates.


SSL may have begun as a security protocol. Yet, as our customers and candidates increasingly interact and operate online, they value their security. Digital users are quick to reward the brands they trust with increased traffic and business. Thus, SSL is a simple implementation that generates visible and measurable returns for any digital operator in the business of competing for eyeballs and will remain a relevant part of the online experience.

About the author

Rick Maré is the founder and CEO of JXT, the number one provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for recruiters and corporate recruiters. Rick has coached thousands of recruiters, empowering them to take their businesses and careers to the next level. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.

Share with your friends