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How an Expired SSL Certificate Can Spell Trouble for Your Small Business

ssl-certificate

Where would you feel safer buying your groceries? The store that has a “Health Inspected and Approved” sign or the one that has let their health certification lapse?

Much like those grocery stores, websites with up-to-date SSL certificates and those without are worlds apart, especially in the eyes of your customers and search engines. Ensuring the security of your site is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity. But what happens when that SSL certificate expires? Spoiler alert: It’s not good news.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and enables an encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser. 

Basically: It’s the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details.

Main Reasons SSL Certificates are Necessary:

  • Authentication: To establish a secure connection and make sure you’re sending data to the right server. 
  • Data Integrity: Ensure that data is not tampered with during transmission.
  • Confidentiality: It encrypts the data in transit from end to end so no one can get to a user’s sensitive data.
  • Trust: Sites that are secured with a reputable SSL certificate will usually show a padlock icon or “https://” in the address bar, which increases users’ trust in the website.

The Negative Effect That an Expired SSL Certificate Can Have On Your Business

Loss of Customer Trust: The Equivalent of a “Closed for Health Reasons” Sign

Browser Warnings

Ever browsed the web and encountered a pop-up saying, “Your connection is not private”? It’s like walking up to a grocery store and finding a ‘Closed for Health Inspection’ sign. That warning is a red flag for most visitors, making them U-turn faster than you can say “SSL.”

Key Takeaway: Keep that certificate up to date, so you don’t become the sketchy store on the internet block.

Security Concerns

An expired SSL suggests you’re not exactly top of your game when it comes to security. Your customers may wonder, “What else are they neglecting?”

Key Takeaway: An active SSL certificate serves as a trust badge. Letting it expire may well be akin to throwing that trust out the window.

SEO Rankings: The Visibility Dilemma

Drop in Rankings

Search engines, especially Google, use HTTPS as a ranking factor. Think of it as the equivalent of a high-visibility spot in a shopping mall. An expired certificate? That’s like getting bumped to the back corner.

Key Takeaway: For optimal visibility, maintaining your SSL certificate is a must.

Crawling Errors

Web crawlers might face issues accessing your site securely, which could result in a less-than-accurate index of your site.

Key Takeaway: Keep things accessible for web crawlers to ensure your SEO efforts don’t go down the drain.

Operational Disruptions: More Than Just a Website Glitch

Data Vulnerability

With an expired SSL certificate, the safety net for your customer’s sensitive data has holes. It’s akin to a grocery store with a broken freezer—anything stored there is at risk.

Key Takeaway: Maintain your SSL to ensure the safety of both your business and your customers.

Application Failures

Some applications and APIs simply refuse to connect with an insecure server. Imagine your point-of-sale system in a physical store suddenly refusing to work—that’s the level of disruption we’re talking about.

Key Takeaway: An up-to-date SSL ensures smooth operational sailing.

Financial and Legal Repercussions: Where it Really Hurts

Lost Sales and Reputation Costs

Lost trust equals lost sales, but rebuilding that trust could cost you even more in the long run.

Key Takeaway: The immediate and long-term financial impact can be devastating. Don’t risk it.

Data Breach Risks and Monitoring Costs

If data gets compromised, the legal implications can be nightmarish, not to mention the cost and time needed to rectify the situation.

Key Takeaway: Keep your SSL updated to avoid a chain of unfortunate—and costly—events.

Brand Image: The Long-Term Hit

An expired SSL can leave a permanent stain on your brand’s reputation. It’s like a grocery store found violating health codes; the community won’t forget easily.

Key Takeaway: Your SSL status can make or break your brand image. It’s that simple.

Don’t Let Your Small Business Fall Prey to an Expired SSL Certificate

Whether you’re running a grocery store or a website, your customers’ trust is crucial. An expired SSL certificate risks far more than just a warning on a browser—it can have ripple effects across every aspect of your business. So make it a priority to keep those SSL certificates up-to-date, for the sake of your reputation, finances, and overall business health.

Don’t let a small oversight turn into a major business faux pas. Keep that SSL certificate current and continue to offer a secure, trustworthy platform for your customers.

At Breezy Sites, we ensure that your business will never be negatively impacted by an expired SSL certificate. See how we can help your business!

YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BE AS GREAT AS YOUR BUSINESS IS

 

Ok, you keep hearing that your website is the front door of your business but you just don’t see it. Most of your business comes from referrals and your website is just there. This limits you at only being able to reach the people you can yourself. On top of the fact that when the people you meet see your site, it gives an impression of what it will be like working with you.

You should be confident that your site is up to date, searchable on Google and tells the story as well as you do.

The problem is that your nephew doesn’t have enough experience, you have to manage the freelancer and you don’t want to pay for an expensive site redesign.

The truth is you’re tired of having a website that breaks and is not generating business.

Maintaining your website should be easy. Now it can be. Reach out to learn more about how our team can help you today!

"So what's great about Breezy is that if you are comfortable taking on new clients, it's really easy to do that. If you are super creative person like me it's fun to explore your copywriting and content creation skills."
Lisa Meskimen
Content Creator

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