This means that when you submit a form containing personal information, usernames and passwords, or credit card information and the page containing the form is not behind an SSL certificate, the contents of the form are visible to anyone who has access networks involved in the request. This includes anyone on your home network (if you’re connecting from home), anyone at your work network (if you’re connecting from work), employees of your internet provider, or employees at the facility where the website is hosted. All of these various networks are susceptible to hackers who can listen in on form submissions and collect your personal data.
There are usually 2 ways to determine if the web page you’re visiting is behind an SSL certificate. All modern browsers now display a small lock icon beside the address bar when the page is behind an SSL Certificate. The address bar is the field near the top of your browser window where you enter a website address to visit a website. Another way to determine if a website is behind an SSL Certificate is to look for https in the website’s address. A web page secured by an SSL Certificate will include https instead of http in its address.
For reference, look at the address of this page which it https://www.linkweb.ca/hosting/ssl-certificates/. You’ll also see the lock to the left of this address.
In August of 2014, Google announced that as part of its goal to make the internet a safer place, its search algorithm now includes SSL Certificates in determining how a web page ranks. This means that a web page behind an SSL certificate has the potential of ranking higher in organic search results over a page that is not behind an SSL Certificate.