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It’s been a hot minute since I blogged about blogging and I’m not really sure why. HA! I love blogging could honestly talk about it all day long if anyone would listen. I am a WordPress junkie and actually looks a few classes on it as well as a coding class and a few other things. What can I say, I love learning! Especially when it’s something I am passionate about.
I recently had a discussion with a fellow blogger about SSL certificates because my site got hacked last week and she thought having the certificate would cover you against attacks. Well guess what friends, it won’t and I’m here today to tell you why, things you can do to prevent attacks and what, exactly, your SSL certificate does for you/your website.
First things first, what in the world is an SSL Certificate?? Most people didn’t actually know anything about SSL certificates or had even heard of them until last fall when Google announced that they were going to start flagging sites that didn’t have them and marking them as “unsafe”. You can physically see when a site is marked unsafe because the little green lock shown in the photo of a browser below will be red and/or not locked. The websites address will also be HTTPS and not just HTTP.
So what is an SSL certificate and why do I need it??
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the website’s server. So if your website collects any data at all, and by collecting data I’m talking about having a search bar that people can type into, a place to enter an email address for a subscription/newsletter or even just leaving a comment, you need an SSL certificate.
How do I get an SSL certificate??
You can purchase an SSL certificate through your blog’s host (just call them up or look on their website) but purchasing it doesn’t protect you, actually have to enable it for it to work.
How do I enable my website’s SSL certificate??
The easiest way to enable your site’s SSL certificate (if you are on WordPress) is by downloading and activating the plugin, Really Simple SSL. When you activate the plugin it will automatically redirect all traffic to the HTTPS version of your site and not the old non-secure site. It will also give you instructions on how to update your Google Search Console and Google Analytics to the HTTPS version of your site.
I have an SSL certificate, now what??
Now that you have a secure website there’s really not much else to do except sit back and enjoy the benefits of knowing that your site is secure and people can enter their info without fear!
Will having an SSL certificate keep my site safe from hackers??
Now for the question that prompted this entire post, will an SSL certificate keep my site safe from hackers? The short answer is no. An SSL certificate keeps the info on your site protected but if someone wants to hack your site they will attack the web server via phishing or using malware (I was hacked via malware being injected to my site even though I had my SSL certificate) however if you are attacked you can be rest assured that any info anyone has entered on your site should be protected via the SSL certificate you have if you set it up correctly.
If you have made it this far I commend you! If you learned something today then YAY for you! If this post completely bored you then I’m so sorry!
I will definitely be doing more posts like this in the future because like I said earlier, I love blogging about blogging!! So if you have any blogging or WordPress questions for me please let me know in the comments!! Or if you have a question about your website in particular or a WordPress issue that is bothering you email me, I would love to help you out!!
Do you have an SSL certificate set up for your website/blog??