Why do you put a password on your smartphone? Why do you lock the door when you leave your house? Why don’t you tell everyone your PIN-code? The answer is simple. You are worried about security.
Most patients are very hesitant to share their personal information on the Internet. Meanwhile, medical practices rely on this information to improve their marketing efforts and optimize their services.
How can you make your potential patients feel safe? Use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protection.
The Essence of SSL
SSL allows you to keep all the sensitive information safe. This technology encrypts the information while it travels through the Internet realm, so only the recipient can read it.
Such encryption is vital since the information your patients share can go through dozens of computers before reaching the destination. Each computer within the network has access to the data. The SSL certificate doesn’t allow these computers to see the information. All they get is an encrypted code, which they pass on.
What are the advantages of buying an SSL certificate?
1. Improved Search Engine Rankings
Google likes HTTPS-enabled websites. If your website is secure, it will be ranked higher in the search engine results. This improves your marketing efforts and brings more potential patients to your website.
Don’t rely solely on SSL certificates to boost your ratings, though. ‘Content is still king’.
2. Trust And Reputation
When users see the little lock near the URL of your website, they immediately feel safe. Even if they don’t know all the details about SSL protection, they know that the little icon means their information is secure.
Medical services are tightly interconnected with trust. Any respectable medical office must have a secure website to appeal to potential patients.
3. Utter Security
These days, even such seemingly innocent information, as name, age, and gender can become a great catch for many analytics tools. At best, letting personal data float through the web may lead to annoying text messages. At worst, it may result in identity theft.
SSL certificates keep the data safe so you don’t have to worry about becoming an unwilling accomplice to a cybercrime.
4. Following the Requirements
In the event that you are accepting credit card information on your website, you have to prove your compliance with Payment Card Industry Standards. One of the twelve requirements you must follow is the proper use of an SSL certificate.
When dealing with electronic health information, the security is vital. All medical practices must comply with HIPPA security standards. SSL allows you not to worry about satisfying these requirements.
If you want to accept payments or handle health information on your website, you must comply with an SSL certificate.
A Few Disadvantages
The encryption, trust, and security come with a few disadvantages. For some practices, they could be substantial.
1. The Cost
Obviously, SSL certificates are not free. Their cost can vary from $100 to $1,500 per year. This can be a major expense for a startup. The prices differ depending on the number of domains you want to cover and the level of identity verification.
2. Speed and Performance
Since the encryption requires extra resources, some people report that their websites work slower. This is usually the case with websites that handle huge amounts of data. So unless you have more than a hundred thousand visitors per minute, the performance shouldn’t suffer.
To Wrap Things Up
If you can afford an SSL certificate (and you most likely can since there are some very attractive offers), you should get it. Keeping your patients’ information secure is vital for any respectable medical practice.