SSL/TLS is a must whenever sensitive information such as usernames and passwords or payment processing information is being transferred.
The goal of SSL/TLS is to make sure that only one person — the person or organization that the uploader intends — can access the data that’s being transferred. This is particularly important when you think of how many devices and servers the information is transferred between before it reaches its destination.
There are three main use cases that make SSL/TLS a must-have for your website:
- When you need authentication: Any server can pretend to be your server, hijacking the information that people transmit along the way. SSL/TLS allows you to prove the identity of your server so that people know that you are who you say you are.
- To instill trust: If you’re running an e-commerce site or asking users for the kind of data that’s important to them, you need to engender a sense of trust. Using an SSL/TLS certificate is a visible way of showing visitors that they can trust you and it’s much more effective than anything you could say about yourself.
- When you need to comply with industry standards: In some industries such as the finance industry, you’ll be required to maintain certain base levels of security. There are also Payment Card Industry (PCI) guidelines that you need to adhere to if you want to accept credit card information on your website. And one of those requirements is the use of an SSL/TLS certificate.
Remember that SSL can be used across almost any device, which also makes it a versatile security choice in today’s multi-device age. The advantages of using SSL certificates outweigh the time and monetary investment it requires to set them up, so what have you got to lose?