A few years ago, in 2014, Google Chrome announced details that they were going to start recommending all websites use secure URLs to improve connection security.
Until recently, SSL’s tended to be used to secure URLs mostly for eCommerce companies and other sites where sensitive and financial related data is transmitted. Using secure URLs will help to put your website on the right track to comply with new web industry security standards. These new set of standards have been implemented by Google as of the end of 2017, aimed at improving data security and helping to protect the privacy of everyone that uses the internet.
What is HTTPS and what are the benefits of using secure URLs?
HTTPS is a protocol or language that is used to pass data securely between browsers and website servers. Websites that are not secured with an SSL will have a URL that starts with http:// whereas websites that are secure will have a URL that starts with https:// - Basically, HTTPS is a secure connection, and HTTP is insecure.
While using a website with a standard HTTP connection, it is possible and easy for unauthorized parties to monitor and save records of data that is transmitted between your computer or device and the site.
HTTPS and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) work together to provide a secure connection between browsers and servers giving them the ability to safely share information in three ways:
Encryption: For security purposes, it is important to encrypt all data transferred over the web.
Data Integrity: Data that is not encrypted can be altered and corrupted as it is transferred through the internet.
Authentication: Using an SSL helps to ensure that only authenticated users are able to communicate with the website.
What is HTTPS Used For?
In this day and age security of personal data is on the minds of many. Secure URLs indicate that the information transmitted from the browser to the server is not able to be intercepted by hackers or other unwanted prying eyes. SSL certificates are most commonly used by online businesses and eCommerce websites that need to protect credit card details while processing transactions online. Banks and other financial establishments will always use HTTPS to secure your personal information.
What does this mean if you have a website and do not use an SSL?
Google Chrome intensifies warnings for insecure HTTP websites
- As of October 2017, when website visitors browse pages that include forms from insecure sites, Chrome now displays the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users have the ability to view non-secured data on an HTTP page, and the warning messages will now also appear when browsing all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode. This message will appear in address bar when using popular browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
How can you secure your website with an SSL certificate?
If your website is already hosted on the INSYTE website platform and it is not already using secure URLs, contact our development team and we would be happy to help you make the switch. Readers that are not currently using the INSYTE platform to host their site, we would recommend contacting your local web development company to learn how to install an SSL for website security.
Keep in mind that “installing” an SSL is only part of the process of securing a website properly. After a new SSL is in place, it’s important to also make sure that all pages use secure URL and all of the old insecure links that start with http:// are updated to https:// on all pages throughout the site. Once the website is secure, visitors will be automatically redirected to secure URLs when attempting to access any page using an insecure URL.
For a web page to be considered secured, it cannot contain what is known as “mixed content,” meaning that all of the images and videos must also use secure URLs. Pages containing mixed content will not be considered as secure by Google Chrome, FireFox, and other popular web browsers. The INSYTE web development team accounts for all of these factors, helping to ensure a smooth transition and minimal impact on SEO and user experience while converting a website to use secure URLs.
Still not convinced that your website should have an SSL?
This is why you should make the switch to HTTPS as soon as possible:
Privacy and security: Protect the privacy of visitors helps to improve user experience
Page load speed: Secure websites load faster! Unsecured sites load 334% slower, and we all know that delays cause a reduction in conversions.
Search Engine Optimization: Most people do not recognize the SEO benefits of having a secure site; using an SSL provides a ranking boost at Google.
When using a website to promote your business, is it not worth jeopardizing the trust of visitors potential customers/clients. Having an SSL is an easy way to let your website visitors know that you care about protecting their privacy. Think of an SSL as a blanket of security that helps to prevent eavesdropping; Google would like for all websites to use an SSL to help better secure all data sent or received.
Ask questions about SSL's before switching or learn how to get started today.