Have you seen the “warning, this website is not secure” notice lately as you travel around the internet? Last July, Google added that warning to all websites that continue to use HTTP instead of HTTPS. And even though Google has been warning everyone for years that they planned this action, thousands of websites are still “not secure.” So if you use Google’s Chrome, the most popular internet browser, you will see these warnings.
The warning can do real damage to your business. Many people are uncomfortable about spending time on a website marked “not secure” and will not click on the link to your site, or will leave it immediately. Also, Search Engine Land reported that Google favors HTTPS sites in its search rankings. If you migrate your website to HTTPS, it will land higher on Google when people search for your products or services.
What Does it Mean When a Website is Marked “Not Secure”?
Not secure means that the website is still using the first method of delivering webpages to your browser, HTTP, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It means that encryption has been added to the information traveling between your browser and the website’s server. Without encryption, it’s possible to see and even edit the communication between browser and server.
HTTPS has long been the standard for websites that record sensitive information. For example, shopping websites that take your credit card information have used HTTPS for years to ensure that no one can see your personal information.
More Advantages of HTTPS
Upgrading your website to HTTPS is about more than avoiding the warnings on Chrome. It can keep customers on your site longer. There are many advantages to making your website secure. According to Search Engine Journal, “HTTPS is a foundational part of web security.” Unencrypted websites are more vulnerable to attacks from hackers. It’s also much easier to load malware onto them.
According to Google, future web applications will rely on HTTPS. They write that HTTPS is vital for “Powerful, new web platform features, such as taking pictures or recording audio…”
As you can see, there are many compelling reasons to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. And today, it’s easier than ever to make this important switch. Cost used to be a factor that prevented some people from changing their sites to secure. But, according to CNET, “an effort sponsored by Google, Mozilla, Facebook and others called Let's Encrypt has made it free to obtain the necessary certificate.”
The actual nitty-gritty of making the switch does entail a fair number of technical challenges, especially if you are unfamiliar with how it’s done. If you need to make the change for your website but feel overwhelmed by the “to do” list it will take, reach out to us! Our IT specialists can make this process a snap.
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