Back in 2014, HTTPS and the SSL Certificate grabbed the headlines after the Heartbleed bug was in the media. The bug allowed cyber criminals to “listen” to data transmitted over SSL connections. The bug was later patched. This incident was an eye-opener to many regarding online safety. Many began to see why encryption was no longer optional. Migration to an SSL protected site has improved benefits on Search Engine Optimization, but Google has chosen to go a notch higher in pushing the idea by flagging insecure sites. Effective October 2017, Chrome insists that sites using HTTP connections be labeled as insecure, negatively affecting user confidence. Website owners should act on this quickly, as consumers will be wary of their online security with the ‘not secure’ tag.
What’s the importance of having a secure site with and SSL Certificate?
Google encourages Small business owners to purchase SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates because, from a security standpoint, the web is safer with verified and secure websites than without. A clear indication of an insecure site should help users avoid scams and offer an extra layer of protection. Today, everyone uses personal information for secure logins and online purchases, SSL can help to keep us secure. Some of the core benefits of switching to a secure site are:
- A secure site instills a sense of security for your customers. Trust is a valuable to any business relationship and showing that they can trust you with their personal information will only make your business thrive. Customers and online users generally feel comfortable when using a secure website, knowing that you have taken the necessary precautions to protect their information.
- Purchasing an SSL certificate shows your customers that your site is secure by adding an ‘S’ to the HTTP on your URL. Phishing and spoofing sites commonly used by cybercriminals rarely use secure websites. This gesture verifies your online identity and reassures your clients that you use SSL security levels and they are on a valid website.
- Cybercriminals have the expertise to “listen” to data transmitted over insecure connections and manipulate the data. With an SSL certified website, hackers cannot listen or read the data.
- SSL certificates will be a positive factor to increase SEO ranking as Google announced in 2014. It is a good idea to invest in an SSL Certificate to stay safe and provide an SEO edge to your website.
Chrome’s Changes for Non-Secure Sites
Before implementing the change, Google used a subtle indicator of HTTP connections to show that a connection is not secure because passwords and sensitive information could be stolen. HTTPS connections, on the other hand, mark safe pages as secure and unsafe ones as ‘not secure’. According to the Google Security, the neutral indicator does not reveal the severity of the insecurity levels. This is only the first step as Google promises to introduce a red triangle in the future to draw further attention.
Here is what it can look like in Google Chrome:
Here is what it can look like on a form in Mozilla Firefox:
Where are we now?
More than 70 percent of search engine searches are done through the Google Chrome browser. According to the company reports in the Google transparency report more than 50% of web page loads are HTTPS connections. Most of the top sites worldwide run the connection that is approved by SSL security including Facebook and Twitter.
How do I Switch?
The first step to securing your website is by obtaining a certificate. An SSL certificate enables your site to send data online via an encrypted channel . In addition, it also stamps authority on your website as a secure and legitimate destination. The domain validation option also displays a green lock in your URL bar.
With custody of an SSL certificate, the next step would be to approve and install it on your web server. You should backup your website before the transition from HTTP to HTTPS. Should you have any questions regarding the installation procedure, Google provides comprehensive information. After installation, make sure you perform tests to make sure everything runs smoothly and correctly using this tool from SSL Labs.
Conduct a search on your site and update all URLs to the new HTTPS and also update all web scripts. Create a 301 redirect on all your new HTTPS links in order to improve your Google ranking. This step is important as it allows the Google crawler to re-rank your website.
This is certainly the new direction of the web, and the sooner you adapt, the better. Mozilla also announced that they would be following suit in displaying a warning on insecure sites and there is no question that you should switch to a HTTPS connection. Secure connections safeguard private user information transmitted to the server. HTTPs is the leading industry standards, and any webmaster hesitating to implement this does not mean well for his clients. Although setting up an SSL Certificate might seem daunting the benefits outweigh the negatives. Flagging by chrome is just the first step, there’s no reason to delay migration any longer. Migrate early so that you and your customers can enjoy the benefits of enhanced privacy and safety of SSL security.
We want to help, keep your website secure and maintain the trust and confidence that you have with your customers. If you would like an SSL Certificate installed on your website give us a call – 226-783-0812 or contact us.