The SSL protocol is the Web standard for encrypting communications between users and SSL (secure sockets layer) of websites, typically used in e-commerce sites. Data sent via an SSL connection is protected by encryption, a mechanism that prevents eavesdropping and tampering with any transmitted data.
SSL provides businesses and consumers with the confidence that private data sent to a Web site, such as credit card numbers, are kept confidential. Web server certificates (also known as secure server certificates or SSL certificates) are required to initialise an SSL session.
When you login to our Client Area at Pay Monthly Hosting we use high grade encryption SSL certificates with AES-256 bit encryption to protect your confidential information as it is transmitted across the internet, keeping all the information transmitted between your computer and our website safe and secure.
You will know when you have an SSL session with a website because your browser displays the little padlock next to the domain name and the address bar begins with a https rather than http.
Depending upon the level of validation and verification of the SSL certificate, some browsers will also change the colour of the address bar to a green colour. This gives the user an additional degree of confidence that they are dealing with a certified and trustworthy organisation.
Why is an SSL certificate important to Google?
Since 2014 Google have committed to a more safer and secure internet. Therefore they have given greater ranking (i.e. priority and position in their search results) to sites that use an SSL certificate to protect the information that passes between a user and the website they visit, as announced here.
When you use an SSL certificate to protect your website, users use a set of pages with the prefix of HTTPS rather than the default of HTTP (the S standing for secure). Since 2015 Google have been indexing HTTPS pages by default and explain some more of the detail here.
Some more information and instructions on how to use HTTPS on your site with Google are contained here.