Google Chrome’s update will label websites “not secure” if they don’t have SSL certificates
Imagine this: as you’re checking out at the grocery store, there is a thief standing patiently next to the register waiting for you to take out your credit card. As you go to swipe your card, the thief grabs it from your hand, copies down all of the information, gives you back the card, runs away and there is nothing anyone can do now that your information has been stolen.
Unfortunately, this exact scenario is happening all too frequently online when websites do not have the right security measures in place. If your website is still operating with an “HTTP” and not an “HTTPS”, Google is about to make it very clear to your visitors that you do not have an SSL certificate and that information of any kind can be intercepted by the wrong people.
Let’s back up a few steps…
What is an SSL certificate? It prevents hackers from stealing information.
An SSL certificate stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”. It’s a cryptographic protocol, unique to your organization, that provides communication security between servers and browsers. In other words, when a customer comes to your website and enters private information (ie: a credit card number, password, or address) an SSL certificate ensures that it travels safely from them to you and only the intended recipient sees the information.
What changed and why do I need it now? Google decided to up its game.
In September of 2016, Google announced that it would be taking steps to enhance cyber-security by beginning to flag HTTP websites as non-secure. In January of 2017, Google took its first step by flagging only the HTTP websites that collected passwords or credit card information as non-secure. This October, they’re taking it another step further by flagging HTTP websites that collect any kind of data as non-secure because, as we all know, passwords and credit card numbers aren’t the only things that we want to keep private. This means, if you have any kind of log in or contact submission fields, you will be affected. Read more about this on the Chrome blog here.
I don’t have an ecommerce website, why do I need an SSL? Every website needs an SSL.
Back in the day, if you didn’t have an ecommerce website you may not have needed an SSL certificate. Unfortunately, that is not true today. For example, if you have a form on your website for a visitor to enter their contact information for a monthly newsletter, then there is a really good chance that a hacker would be interested in stealing data from your website. In addition to security, having an SSL certificate increases your search engine rankings, page load speed, and customer trust. A huge majority of people use Google Chrome as their browser and when a site is secure Chrome displays the “green padlock” on the upper left corner of the browser. As a business owner, you want your users to know that they are on a 100% professional and quality website.
It’s important to remember that although moving towards HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, implementing an SSL certificate on your website is not something that should be handled by just anyone. It can certainly be done incorrectly and the consequences of a partially or poorly installed SSL certificate would be counterproductive to implementing it in the first place. SSL certificates are included in all of our hosting plans.
Still not sure if you need an SSL certificate? Click here and enter your domain name to find out.