Dental websites help promote and share your practice with a broader audience. Any online platform, including a website, is vulnerable to attacks and cyber threats. Irrespective of the type of website you have, an SSL certificate is essential for all dental websites.
Getting an SSL certificate helps secure your and your patient’s personal information from falling into the wrong hands. There are many players in the industry who scour websites to retrieve data and sell it or use it for personal gains.
From the healthcare perspective, securing this information is even more important and pivotal to providing a safe and secure user experience. With the certificate, you will get an encrypted website, creating a secure connection between your patients and your practice.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layers, and it administers a security protocol. Implementation of the SSL encrypts the connection between the web server and web browser.
With an increasing amount of data being shared online through websites or other channels, SSL helps secure the company and customer information. With any sort of interaction between the user and server, information exchange takes place.
Without an SSL certificate, hackers and criminals cannot access this information/data. Dental websites, which have an SSL certification will have a padlock sign on the left corner of the address bar.
Moreover, securing your website is also effective for dental marketing as it will help your potential customers feel safe while sharing their information. Yes, not every patient or customer will know the meaning of the padlock or make an effort to check for one.
Nonetheless, your prerogative must be to build a secure dental website and ensure the protection of your patient’s privacy, information, and data.
Does SSL Protect My Dentistry Website from Being Hacked?
Yes, it does. As we have said earlier, an SSL certificate encrypts the information being shared over the network. Dental websites secure with an SSL certificate are added with an algorithm that scrambles the data information/data shared between the browser and server.
It can be any type of data, names, address, contact number, credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other sensitive information (including health-related). Suppose a user is asked to share their health issue with the doctor through a website, the patient will enter the information, and the dentist will receive it.
The process of securing the same is called an SSL Handshake. Here’s what happens in this process;
- The user’s browser sends a request to connect with a website secured with an SSL certificate.
- The web server sends an identification request to the browser and server.
- The web server then sends a copy of the dental website’s SSL certificate as a response to the request.
- Then the browser and the server will verify the SSL certification to ensure its trustworthiness. If approved, a signal is sent to the web server.
- Once the web server receives the verification request, it will send a digitally acknowledged authentication to start the encrypted web session.
- After this, any sort of data shared between the server and the user is encrypted.
Dental websites secured with an SSL certificate will have an acronym placed before the web address, namely HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.
Why Does Your Dental Clinic Need a Secure Certificate?
Protection of Critical Patient Data
An SSL certificate enabled dental website can securely store, record, retrieve, and share patient’s data across different channels.
The encryption on data transfer from the server to the network makes everything tamper-proof. Besides sensitive health information, it also protects the user’s payment information and your account details (that is only if you want to initiate payments from the dental website).
Improvement in HIPAA Compliance
Even though there is no regulatory requirement to have an SSL certificate under HIPAA directly, obtaining it is helpful indirectly. Under HIPAA rules, every institution has to protect their patient’s sensitive data and follow the privacy norms.
The patient history and the doctor-patient conversation, which a person might share via the dental website, comes under the purview of Protected Health Information (PHI). It goes without saying that an SSL certificate protects this information from getting hacked, thus serving your purpose of reinforcing HIPAA rules.
Build Patient Trust
Trust is the main ingredient in choosing a dentist or a doctor. Patients need to be able to trust their healthcare advisor before they can build a professional relationship with them. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that having an SSL certificate contributes towards building that trust.
This is because an SSL certificate personifies legitimacy, which is reflected in the padlock and HTTPS before the URL.
Search Engine Optimisation is many things, but an SSL certificate can help you with our dental SEO and dental marketing. How so?
Google has put several parameters in place to rank websites. Better ranking websites get more business and revenue than those with lower ranks.
So, if you have an SSL certificate, you have a better chance at ranking on Google.
Google Prioritizes Sites with SSL Encryption and Flags the others
Google not only prioritises dental websites with an SSL certificate, but it also warns the visitors about the ones which do not have one. A not secure warning message will pop up before the actual website opens.
Seeing the warning message, the majority of the patients will close the browser. Hence, having a certificate is helpful in getting more leads.
To sum it up, an SSL certificate is a comprehensive solution to build better dental websites, businesses and generate higher revenue. It secures your data and information, which builds trust and legitimacy in front of the patients.
Cyber threats are as real as they get. On the other hand, taking your dental practice online and building a virtual identity is also essential. To protect your dental website and build impressive dental marketing campaigns, an SSL certificate is required. It’s easy to get an SSL certificate, and its benefits outweigh the cost required to get one.