SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol. It establishes an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser; or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook).
Using SSL allows personal sensitive information to be transmitted securely.
Does a police website need SSL?
People are able to use the Police website not only to find and read the information or guidance they’re looking for, but also to send us personal information through various forms. For example to report a crime or incident online, the user enters their name, address and date of birth on an online form.
SSL means this information is encrypted ensuring that any confidential information sent over the internet is secure.
With the increasing spread of Wi-Fi and especially public hotspots, it means that people are allowing their devices to send information through a hotspot that could be insecure.
A simple and common example would be a Wi-Fi connection not having encryption, which allows a third party to intercept and view the data flowing between the devices.
A more complex setup would consist of a nefarious person setting up a false Wi-Fi hotspot or alternatively capturing data after the Wi-Fi router had processed it and sending it over an unsecure CAT5 cable.
Site wide SSL
Limiting SSL to the log in or form page is not enough. In August 2014 Google launched a new ranking signal to give HTTPS sites a ranking boost in the search results page. This is a clear nudge to the industry, encouraging webmasters to migrate their sites from HTTP to HTTPS.
By forcing SSL on throughout the entire website experience, we’re protecting the privacy of all web users.