As of July 2018, Google Chrome (and Firefox following shortly) will mark all websites that use only HTTP as “not secure”. So, what does that mean for your site? If your site doesn’t get an SSL certificate right now, a warning will appear, clear as day, next to your URL.
WHAT IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
This all sounds technical and complicated, right? Well to a degree it is technical and complicated. However, the visual cues that your website visitors will see in a search engine will be clear and uncomplicated. “THIS WEBSITE IS NOT SECURE – DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR INFORMATION!”
An SSL certificate activates a secure connection between the browser you are using and the web server. The website’s URL protocol will change from HTTP to HTTPS, and ensure strong encryption of data to and from your site. This will in turn increase trust between your site and visitors to your site.
You may have noticed in the past that when you search on Google, a padlock will be present next to the URLs that have an SSL certificate, signalling that this site is safe and secure.
This major update in Google Chrome is a way to cut down on cybercrimes that are committed through security loopholes in web browsers. If a visitor is on a site that is not secure anyone who is so inclined (and with a moderate amount of hacking skill) can obtain the information that is shared on that website – like credit card details, and personal information.
In the past, this may not have been apparent to many people searching a Google results page. However, this is all going to change – Google Chrome is going to make glaringly obvious which websites are secure and which ones are not.
WHY IS AN SSL SO IMPORTANT?
If you want searchers to feel secure visiting your site, it is crucial for you to take action NOW and migrate all of your pages to a website that uses HTTPS.
Further to a feeling of security, it has been highlighted that having an SSL certificate is one of the things that Google look at when ranking your website content for SEO value.
The ramifications of not having a secure site are two-fold –
1. Your site will be highlighted as NOT SECURE by Google deterring visitors from visiting your pages, and
2. You may lose SEO value due to not having an SSL certificate on your site.
IS YOUR SITE AFFECTED?
If you want to know if this will affect your site, ask yourself this:
- Does your site ask for any information from the visitor? This includes contact forms, search bars, login panels, payment details etc.
- Is your website using HTTP:// in the address bar?
If you answered YES to these questions, then you need to apply an SSL certificate to avoid deterring people from using your site. You should also enforce HTTPS on your site to ensure that visitors are not accessing the unsecured version of your site.
It is a fact that more than half of all internet users use Google Chrome as their primary browser, meaning that half of all internet users right now can clearly see which sites to stay away from and which ones are safe to use.
HOW DO I GET AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
There are three main things that you can do right now:
- Do nothing and hope you aren’t affected by this. (You will be affected by this, it’s not a real choice)
- Work with your host to ensure that you have implemented an SSL certificate and HTTPS on all of your website pages.
- Talk to Baker Marketing today and ask them to take care of this for you.
We can implement an SSL Certificate with your current hosting provider, or we can recommend an alternative provider that will more than likely save you time and money in the long run.
Call one of our Marketing Consultants today on 8352 3091, so you don’t forget to do something about this!
If you are still unsure if this is something that you need to worry about give one of our friendly consultants a call, we are more than happy to check the status of your SSL certificate for you.