Providing your website visitors with a secure browsing experience is more crucial than ever.
Website security is now so vital that Google has stepped in with new security standards coinciding with their release of Chrome 68. Recently, Google announced that it will mark ALL sites as “not secure” that have not upgraded their SSL certificates from the old “HTTP” to the more secure “HTTPS”.”
This change in the way Google evaluates your site should be taken seriously since this type of warning will most certainly drive potential customers away. Not having HTTPS also will impact your search rankings and can increase your vulnerability to hackers.
Now, let’s take a look at what you should do about it.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is technology that keeps your site visitors’ data (credit card info, etc.) safe from hackers. The technology encrypts the information as it flows between your site and the servers. SSL shows visitors that you have been verified as the site’s official owner.
What Are The Benefits Of An SSL Certificate?
GoDaddy explains an SSL as creating a “secure tunnel through which information including usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and more can pass safely.”
SSL Certificates also:
- Boost Google search rankings
- Guarantees visitor data is secure between servers
- Reinforces customer trust
- Increases conversion rates
How Do I Know If My Webite Is Secure?
The two primary ways you will know whether your site is secure or not are:
- Your website URL should start with “HTTPS” not “HTTP”.
- Look for the little green padlock icon next to the website URL on your browser bar. All websites considered “secure” should have the green padlock.
One thing to note — SSL does not guarantee that your website itself is protected. While HTTPS keeps your visitor’s information secure in transit, SSL doesn’t do anything to help protect your website from being hacked so you will still need to keep your site current with the latest security features, themes and plugins.
What’s the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the way data is sent between your browser and the website you are visiting. HTTPS uses SSL certificates to ensure that all communications are encrypted and is the secure version of HTTP. (Yep. The “S” means “secure.”)
When using an HTTP website, there is the risk your connection could be hacked — resulting in stolen or manipulated data. With HTTPS, your data is encrypted and the person on the other end must have the “decoder” for your data to be readable. To anyone else, your encrypted data is meaningless. In addition to providing security, HTTPS also results in better site performance by blocking ISPs (Internet Service Providers) from injecting those annoying and intrusive ads.
What is the first thing I should do?
If you have not already done so, purchase an SSL certificate today. You will need to install the SSL certificate and migrate your website to HTTPS.
Where Do I Buy An SSL Certificate?
Most larger web hosts (Go Daddy, etc.) provide SSL certificates and have services to automatically configure web servers to support HTTPS connections — making your life easier.
Or — You have the option to obtain an SSL certificate for your domain directly from a Certified Authority (CA). You will then have to configure the certificate on your web host, or on your own servers if you are hosting the site yourself.
You can also get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, a popular CA that provides certificates in the interest of creating a safer Internet: https://letsencrypt.org/
If you prefer someone to handle all this for you, you can contact us or your web programmer. We can help you get your certificate and then configure your website for https.
Keeping your customers safe is good business. Update your SSL certificate today to ensure the data your website is processing, storing, and utilizing is safe and encrypted. Also, Chrome’s flagging of HTTP sites as “unsecure” is just one more step in a list of changes soon to come that are intended to better protect the privacy and security of sensitive information. There is no reason to jeopardize the trust of your users, so go get your green padlock today.
Please note: DBC Digital is a full-service marketing agency in the Denver metro area. We’re in Centennial, just off I-25 and Dry Creek. We work with clients throughout Colorado and the U.S., in a variety of industries, including: real estate, financial, insurance, and mortgage.