Have you ever noticed the small lock icon next to the URL on certain websites? The lock icon indicates that the website is secure because it utilizes an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.
What is SSL?
According to SSL.com, "SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and it's successor TLS (Transport Layer Security) are methods used to secure and encrypt sensitive information like credit cards, usernames, passwords, and other private data sent over the Internet. Website pages secured with SSL and TLS are those branded with the HTTPS in their URL address."
This has been an important level of security for online form submissions for a number of years, but has also recently started to affect SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for websites, which impacts where in search rankings your website will show up.