We'll cover the 3 main reasons why websites need SSL.
If your website is just general information about your products and services, photo galleries of you products and services, and doesn’t require your customers to login, then you likely do not need an SSL certificate
You need to be careful how data is stored on your servers. Learn more about Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
If you use Paypal or another third party payment gateway and all the sensitive data is being processed at the gateway's website then you likely do not need an SSL Certificate.
For example, a customer clicks to buy items in their shopping cart on your website. You send them to a site like Paypal to fill out the CC information and finish the transaction. Paypal contacts the bank and finishes the transaction. In this case, your website is not capturing sensitive data and you do not need an SSL certificate for this kind of e-commerce. However, the site that processes the payments does.
If you accept the credit card information on your website and then forward it to Paypal or other payment processor then you still need an SSL certificate.
For example, a customer clicks to buy the items in their shopping cart on your website. They go to a page on your site and fill out the financial information. After they finalize the transaction their information is stored on your site and/or you send their payment information including the credit card data to a payment processor. In this case, you do need to encrypt your customers information before you send it to the Credit Card processor. So you would need an SSL Certificate.
If your site has forms that ask for sensitive, personal information you should be using an SSL Certificate. Otherwise, that data is transmitted in clear text. Not having SSL on your site could mean that you are missing leads due to vistors not filling out forms on unsecured pages.
If your site allows or requires users to login with a username and password then you should use an SSL Certificate on the login page. Without the SSL Certificate on the login page their passwords are transmitted in plain text and could be intercepted by hackers(even beginner ones) anywhere along the path from their computer to where your website is located.
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