There’s a very thin line between having secure information – and being at risk online. More and more medical and dental websites are making the switch to becoming more secure with available online tools. Security is essential in today’s complex web ecosystem, user logins, patient health records, online forms, and other sensitive personal information is just waiting to be hacked by unwanted visitors.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the industry standard in creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Simply put, a web server is where all of your website’s information lives – pictures, written content, contact forms. Anything that is on a website lives on a server. Your web browser is what calls that data and displays it. By creating a secure connection between the two you’re ensuring any data that passes between the two is secure and protected. This technology is used by hospitals, financial institutions, schools, and e-commerce websites, in addition to being implemented to create secure websites for dentists, physicians, and other independent healthcare professionals.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an Internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and your website. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using your website. It is expected that we adopt HTTPS in order to protect the users’ connection to your website, regardless of the content on the site.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:
Encryption – encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
Data Integrity – data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
Authentication – proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.
The Benefits of Adding SSL to Your Website & Content
Trust is the Foundation of Your Relationship With Your Website Visitors and Patients. With SSL enabled, you can build trust with people visiting your website, and ensure their information is safe. The visual cues on an SSL-enabled website clearly show the visitor that you value their safety and are protecting their information from potential hackers.
Increased Visibility in Search Results. Google now factors SSL into its algorithm and has publically stated that a website with SSL enabled may outrank another site without SSL.
Peace of Mind. O360’s SSL service ensures security across all of your content hosted on the Optimized360 platform. This means you can spend more time on your online marketing and less time worrying about potential security incidents.
Avoiding Security Alerts. In 2019 Google started marketing websites without an SSL as ‘non-secure’ but the initial alert was in the shape of a small ‘!’ mark. But, this alert becomes more visible gradually until the whole site is blocked unless it is an HTTPS domain.
How Does SSL Work?
When you visit an unsecured website, your browser makes a connection with that website and transmits information publicly. Filling out a form or entering your credit card on an unsecured website means that hackers could intercept the information and steal your data.
By comparison, a secure website with SSL enabled will establish a tunnel between the server that hosts the website and your browser. Any hackers that try to intercept information cannot access the tunnel, which means any information you share on the website is secure. The secure connection and authentication happen in the background in mere fractions of a second and will not affect your website’s performance. Please contact us for more information about SSL.
How Can Patients Tell If My Site is Secure?
There are a number of visual cues that are immediately apparent for any website enabled with SSL. Let’s go through a few of them:
- HTTPS: Within the URL of your browser, you may commonly see “http://”. When the additional ‘s’ is present, it will display as “https://” and visitors will be able to tell the site is secure. For example, https://o360.com is a secure domain.
- In some browsers, such as Google Chrome, the URL bar will say “Secure” and display a green lock icon when visiting a site that has SSL enabled.
- Some websites, primarily in e-commerce, will add a badge to the web page indicating that it’s secure. But, it is a good idea for a dentist or physician to do the same for more credibility.
Can I Enable SSL Across All My Content?
Yes! Depending on your subscription and security needs, you can enable SSL across all of your content – such as website, landing pages, and blog. If you are interested in updating your site to a certified secure site, contact O360 for more details.