Does my school website need an SSL certificate?

Friday, 18 October 2019 | Written by Liz Kay-Stott

SSL certification is an essential development in the rise of all websites. But what is it?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer: a system that lets computers communicate with each other. The term has since been updated to Transport Layer Security (TLS), but the name ‘SSL certificate’ still refers to the public key certificate belonging to it.

The certificate is a digital file that is associated with your school website. It proves that your website is legitimate, not run by an imposter, and it also encrypts information that users put into it. This kind of encryption keeps data safe from anyone who could intercept the information and is particularly important when private information is being shared through the site.

How can you tell if an SSL certificate exists on your school website?

  • Your address with a start with ‘https’ instead of HTTP.’
  • Your browser could also change colour to highlight the security level
  • Your browser usually has a padlock symbol to the left of the address bar

SSL certificates are good for your website users:

These signs all show users that your website is safe to use and that it will encrypt any personal data. Even if the user isn’t fully aware of the benefits of encrypting their data, the familiar padlock will add peace of mind when using your site.

If you don’t have SSL certification, the browser could flag your site which could alarm or deter visitors from using it. This is something you certainly don’t want to be associated with your school’s website.

SSL certificates are good for your school website:

Websites with SSL certifications get higher rankings on search engines such as Google. So, having an SSL certificate on your site will make it more visible to people surfing the internet, as well as for parents and students looking for useful information.

It also makes sense to set a good example to your students. Having SSL certification shows your students and their parents that you are considerate of their safety. It encourages safe usage of the internet too and that your staff have expertise in this area.

Rest assured, at PrimarySite, all of the primary school, secondary school, academy and trust websites that we develop all have SSL certificates on them, giving you the peace of mind knowing that your educational website is safe in our hands.

Contact us today on 01636 616640 and talk to one of our educational communication experts – or email us on hello@primarysite.net

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