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If you’re an avid online shopper, you may be familiar with SSL certificates. These are noted by the padlock that appears in your browser bar, particularly when you’re attempting to check out from your digital shopping cart. It’s a small icon, but one that packs a powerful punch. It lets you know that as the system intercepts your credit card data, it does so securely, encrypting the numbers so they’re not visible or obtainable to would-be hackers. Another way you can discern whether or not a site is running with an SSL certificate is if the URL prefix begins with “https” over “http.”

To date, the e-commerce connection is the most common association between SSL certificates and the consumer. Yet, business leaders should also be aware of the myriad benefits they can reap by incorporating them into their operations and processing. As the costs associated with implementing these certificates are normally minimal to non-existent, it only makes sense for forward-thinking executives to give them a second look, regardless of whether or not they’re in an e-commerce retail marketplace. Here are three reasons why.

1. They encrypt sensitive communications

Even if you aren’t dealing directly with consumers’ financial information, your organization likely transmits sensitive …

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