If you see a locked key in your browser’s address bar, that means the website you’re visiting has SSL installed. Secure Socket Layer is technology that encrypts sensitive information between a web browser and your company’s server, making your clients feel more comfortable purchasing from you. It makes it less likely a hacker can steal passwords and credit card information. The SSL installed server will send you a key to unlock the encrypted information on your computer or device when you need to retrieve it on your end.
SSL is not only used for websites and online submission forms, but also for email and FTP files. The software for these programs often come with a default SSL setting turned on, which is a nice feature, but not necessarily guaranteed. SSL should be an important part of your company’s online transactions and communication primarily for security reasons. But as a bonus, you may be rewarded with a boost in SEO ranking since Google gives preference to sites that are secure.
SSL sounds like the perfect privacy protection solution. Well, not quite.
SSL only encrypts customer data between the browser on a computer (or device) to your company’s server, so unless you have some way to protect that data once it’s on your company’s computer server, the information is still vulnerable. You need strict policies in place so the sensitive data is still protected once it’s on your server. For example, you want to make sure the data is accessible only on certain computers, and strictly monitor and limit who gets to view and handle the information.
After all, a hacker might have a hard time stealing your customer’s data with encryption technology in place, but anyone with access to your server can easily misuse the sensitive information. Something to seriously consider as privacy concerns and regulations ramp up.