Last January 2017, Google started a mission to make the web a secured and safer place for Internet users by showing security warnings for HTTP sites that collect passwords and credit card information. With the recent unveiling of Chrome 68, Google is said to be on its final stage of the mission as they are now marking all unencrypted sites to be “Not Secure”- even if they don’t have login forms or payment fields.
This means that if you’re still running an HTTP website, your visitors who use Chrome browser will receive a scary warning message that your website is not secured. Imagine if that person is a first-time visitor looking for a company to do business with. Yes, that’s a lost lead for your business, my friend.
So, What Is An SSL?
“An SSL Certificate is a small data file that digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organization's details. This protocol creates a secure connection between a client and the server over which to send information. SSL works by using a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. ... A domain name, server name or hostname.” (Globalsign)
Should I Move from HTTP to HTTPS?
Definitely, and as soon as possible. Trust is the very foundation of business deals that happen over the web. You’re a step ahead in acquiring new customers by making your website secured.
Need more reasons why enabling HTTPS on your website is a sweet deal?
- Google prioritises displaying and ranking secured websites in their search results
- It improves website speed as HTTPS is faster than HTTP
- It makes surfing over public WiFi safer
How Can I Make The Move?
The most efficient way is to talk with your web developer or hosting provider. This is a meticulous process and must be carried out seamlessly so that your website won’t have any broken link or lose SEO value. You’ll need to purchase an SSL Certificate (otherwise known as a ‘Secure Sockets Layer’), for one or two years, from your hosting company. Some offer this free with your hosting, best to check directly with them.
It’s ALL IN for Google
The search giant is locked in on this mission. Their security measures will not stop with Chrome 68 as the next versions will be:
Chrome 69 [Launch date: September 2018] – A green “Secure” label will appear on HTTPS sites as a less prominent black in the address bar.
Chrome 70 [Launch date: October 2018] – The “Not Secure” label will be displayed in Red instead of Black to highlight the warning message better.
Subsequent Chrome versions will eventually remove the “Secure” label from HTTPS sites to emphasize Google’s position that security should be a norm.
Now, Your Move
So if your website offers a contact form or subscription sign up, any type of payment gateway, or is just a great information blog site, we highly recommend you upgrade your domain to carry an SSL Certificate. It’s a low cost way to ensure your visitors feel secure when browsing through your website or sending you their details. An IT or web dev should be able to apply the certificate to your hosted domain, or reach out to your hosting service, they may apply it for you free of charge.