Have you noticed how this website's address begins with HTTPS? this is because this site is protected with an SSL certificate which enables secure communications between users and the site. This is something that really every website should implement as it stops third parties from being able to intercept the information being sent back and forth, for some sites this might not be particularly sensitive data but nonetheless a user's information should be kept to the parties that user decides to give it to an nobody else. Here's how to go about getting a certificate (the instructions given are for a Plesk hosted site):
- Go to your web hosting site
- On your main page you should see "Secure your Site", click on it to go to the Certificates page
- Add a new certificate
- give it a name
- once you've entered in the requested details click "Request". This will generate a CSR code which you'll need to get your certificate
- Literally, google for it and find yourself a cheap SSL certificate provider, I use NameCheap because, well, they're cheap
- Once you've bought your certificate you'll need to activate it, go to the link provided and enter in your CSR code generated by your webhost provider
- chose a verification method, personally I went with email
- actually, I went with email and then realised that you couldn't change the email so I had to go back to my hosting site and create an admin email account that matched the admin email address I'd selected and set it to redirect to my hotmail - it's entirely possible that you won't need this step however.
- Once you've activated your certificate you should be sent an email with some files attached
- Go back to your hosting site and navigate to the certificate that you created at the start of the process
- you should have the option to upload some files to complete the certificate, do this and you've successfully created your first signed SSL certificate
Once you've done all of this the last thing for you to do will be to go to the hosting settings of the site that you'd like to protect, go to protection and select the certificate that you've just made, once you save your changes and the server propagates them your site url will show with a shiny padlock next to the satisfying HTTPS:// prefix
if your site isn't doing that then you might need to look at the details of your actual site, check out the settings of your installed CMS (Wordpress, TikiWiki for example.. not that this happened).