SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure, whilst also safeguarding any data that is being transmitted between two systems.
In this blog, we are going to look into SSL in detail, outlining how it works and why it is important in email marketing.
What is SSL?
SSL provides a secure channel between two systems operating over the internet. It was first developed by Netscape in 1995 for the purpose of ensuring privacy, authentication and data integrity and is the predecessor to the modern TLS encryption used today.
Have you ever noticed that some website URL’s start with http:// while others start with https://?
This is the most common example of when SSL is used – when securing the connection between a web browser and a web server. This turns a website’s address from HTTP to HTTPS (with the ‘S’ standing for secure).
HTTP connections are insecure as data is being transmitted in plain text, meaning attackers can intercept and view sensitive data. When data is sent using HTTPS, SSL ensures all data being transmitted is encrypted and therefore protected from interception.
And this, in short, is how SSL works – it encrypts data that is transmitted across the internet.
Why are SSL certificates important for email marketing though? Answer. It’s all about security. When you have an SSL certificate attached to the domain you use to send your marketing emails, all links in your email become secure. If they are not secure, spam filters and ISP’s could flag your email as spam, meaning not only will your email end up in the junk folder, but it may be blocked entirely.
Emails that are not coming from a trusted source will prove detrimental to the relationship you have with your recipients.
How can I know a website is secure?
To check if a site you are using is secure/using SSL, check for a padlock being displayed where the URL sits. To view details of the digital certification, click on the padlock:
Whilst the primary purpose of SSL is securing information, there are also benefits for SEO too. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts, SSL makes up part of Google’s search algorithm. Furthermore, imagine we had two websites that contain similar content but one is secure whilst the other isn’t – the secure site is more likely to be ranked higher.
How do I get SSL?
To adopt SSL, you will need an SSL certificate.
You may be thinking, what’s an SSL certificate? It’s simply a digital document that connects the identity of a website to a cryptographic key pair consisting of a public key and a private key.
The public key allows a web browser to create an encrypted communication with a web server. The private key is kept secure on the server, and is used to digitally sign web pages.
In the case of your email marketing, we provide a secure links domain with an SSL certificate as standard. However, if you would like your own personalised, secure domain, you can purchase an SSL certificate which we can then apply to your account.
What are the different types of SSL certificates?
A single-domain SSL certificate applies to only one domain (with a domain being the name of a website, like www.campaignmaster.co.uk).
Like a single-domain certificate, a wildcard SSL certificate applies to only one domain. However, it also includes that domain’s subdomains. For example, a wildcard certificate could cover www.campaignmaster.co.uk and blog.campaignmaster.co.uk. A single-domain certificate could only cover the first.
As the name indicates, multi-domain SSL certificates can apply to multiple unrelated domains.
What are your options with Campaignmaster?
Here at Campaignmaster, we take security very seriously. We recommend all our clients purchase SSL certificates to fully brand and secure their sending domain and all links in their campaigns.
However, we understand that not all clients will be able to purchase SSL certificates easily, so we offer our own secure domain that can be used for campaigns. So, whether you use your own or our SSL certificate, just know any campaigns sent through our platform are 100% secure.
We hope through reading this blog you have a better understanding of SSL and why it is important. If you have any questions or would like to know more about all other security measures we put in place, drop an email to email@example.com.