44% increase in websites with security certificates as businesses prioritise online safety this Black Friday

Black Friday
Online shopping
Tipping Point
by Naomi Temple
17 Nov 2021

The number of active .ie domains with security certs has increased by 44% this Black Friday compared to 2020.

A total of 128,006 .ie domains have an active Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TSL) cert on their website this year, accounting for 40% of all websites linked to domains on the .ie database.

SSL and TSL certs ensure that sensitive information such as credit card numbers and personal data are transmitted privately using encryption.

The growth in .ie websites with security certs suggests that Irish businesses are actively looking to enhance their websites to ensure year-round consumer safety. This is particularly important in protecting consumers who will be shopping online this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as cybercriminals are expected to be active again this year.

The digital SME

According to our most recent .IE Tipping Point Report, an increasing proportion of businesses recognise that a digital channel is key to their survival while the pandemic continues.

The number of Irish SMEs that have invested money in their online presence has grown significantly: 55% have invested since the beginning of the pandemic, up from just 21% in 2020. Because of this investment, 78% of SMEs say they have been able to sustain pre-Covid levels of business or are busier than before, up from 46% in the summer of 2020

Tipping point 2021// positive online investment results

Overall, the number of Irish businesses with an active .ie domain has increased by 6% year-on-year showing the continued focus on online trading in 2021 as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The .ie domain is the preferred choice for Irish businesses and now accounts for 53% of all active domains hosted in Ireland, up two percentage points since 2020.

Consumer trends

The .IE Tipping Point report also found that the way Irish consumers spend online and in-store is changing: 68% of consumers reported that they spent more online in 2020 than they did in 2019.

This growth in online shopping was also reflected in last year’s Black Friday figures. Spending on Irish websites increased by 135% as many businesses moved online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, as more and more Irish consumers look to shop and spend online, this creates opportunities for cybercriminals interested in stealing customer data, intercepting transactions, or carrying out other scams.

Consumers are more trusting of businesses that have a website

Shop safely this Black Friday

Commenting, our CEO David Curtin, said:  “Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year for Irish consumers, with most Irish shoppers planning to spend around €300 each on the sale day, both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores.

As more businesses move online, we anticipate another surge in online shopping this year as consumers look for a more convenient and local experience.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the increase in businesses operating SSL and TSL security certs on their website. As the demand for online shopping continues to increase among consumers, we urge all businesses to ensure that their customers are safe while using their website.

“For customers, using common sense and observing basic security rules makes online shopping a safe and convenient experience. Black Friday, coupled with increased online spending on Cyber Monday, presents a perfect opportunity for cybercriminals.

“When it comes to buying products online, consumers should always shop with trusted retailers and recognisable brands.

“There are also some quick and easy signs to look out for, to ensure a site’s safety. If the website URL begins with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’, then the site is secured using an SSL or TSL certificate. A padlock icon displayed in a web browser also indicates that a site has a secure connection with a valid certificate and cannot be intercepted by a third party. If you don’t see these security signs, we would not encourage you to buy from that site.

“If you’re suspicious, you can also consider online reviews to see if other shoppers share your concern. Consumers should always avoid downloading unfamiliar apps and clicking on unsolicited links. Remember the old adage – if deals and prices seem too good to be true—they probably are.”

For further insights on digital business during Covid, read our .IE Tipping Point Report.

Naomi Temple is our Marketing Specialist working within our corporate communications team.