In case you didn’t know the SSL certificate is a scam.
I’m sure most of you have noticed the annoying message you get when you visit an unsecured website. It’s basically saying, “Warning, this site is dangerous, and you shouldn’t view this page until this website purchases an SSL certificate,” aka they need to pay their extortion tax.
For those who don’t know, this is 100% fear porn and just another way to steal revenue from anyone who has a website. Google and many other gatekeepers are now punishing sites that don’t purchase this license. The cost of this extortion tax (SSL certificate) can range anywhere from $59.99-$279.99 per year. Failure to comply with this extortion will most likely get your website erased from the search engines, and if readers somehow do manage to make it to your site, they will have to stumble through a few confusing steps to confirm they really want to visit your dangerous website.
So what exactly is an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate you might ask? Godaddy.com best defines it as a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key.
This certificate serves as an electronic “passport” that establishes an online entity’s credentials when doing business on the Web. When an Internet user attempts to send confidential information to a Web server, the user’s browser accesses the server’s digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.
An SSL certificate contains the following information:
- The certificate holder’s name
- The certificate’s serial number and expiration date
- A copy of the certificate holder’s public key
- The digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority
Luckily, not everyone is falling for this scam. Most notably is Matt Drudge, editor of the fiercely independent drudgereport.com which draws approximately 150 MILLION visitors a month. Drudge hasn’t paid the tax and hopefully never will. Myself, on the other hand, decided to pay the tax, in an effort to reach more people and be visible in Google search. Wishful thinking at its best. I mean don’t you feel so much safer with a little green lock in the address bar? I know I do!
From the backwoods of Michigan, Thomas Dishaw is writer and health hacker. Thomas currently resides outside Philadelphia with his wife and dog. You can support Thomas' work by making a donation below or following him on Instagram. You can reach Thomas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.