With the rise in website hacking and data theft in recent years, more internet users are now aware that their personal information can be at risk.

Although users are more aware than ever before on how they can keep their data safe online, many businesses aren’t taking their website’s security seriously and making it a priority to protect their online visitors.

Google have now taken a major step in setting the path for behaviours on the internet and working to protect people from getting their data hacked. The update to the Chrome browser saw a security warning implemented which makes users aware when they are on a non-secure site within the browser window.

While this has been implemented to protect user’s data, it adds more emphasis on businesses implementing appropriate levels of security on their websites.

On October 17, 2017, Google’s Chrome update v62 began to flag websites which contained a form but didn’t have a basic security feature called SSL. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer which is the standard web technology for ensuring data which is passed over the internet between browsers and servers (passwords, addresses, credit cards etc) is kept secure through the use of encryption.

Sites which don’t have an SSL certificate installed are now showing a ‘Not Secure’ notice as part of Google’s plans to make users aware of the potential risks of visiting the website. This was started in January 2017 for all pages which asked for sensitive information such as credit cards. The October update broadens the scope of this to any websites which have a form, regardless of the information being requested.

SSL Not Secure

Google Chrome has a 47% market share therefore it is highly likely that this change will be noticed by millions of people who use the Chrome browser. The ‘Not Secure’ notice questions the visitor on whether they wish to proceed. With recent data theft incidents, they will most likely leave the site and result in you potentially losing business because of this.

Google has also stated that SSL is being used as a factor impacting ranking within its search engine algorithm. With this, websites featuring SSL will in effect rank higher than websites without this.

Taking this into consideration, it is becoming even more essential that SSL is implemented in to your website. Businesses who don’t implement adequate security can see significant drops in traffic, gain unwanted attention and lose customer trust.

Google has made SSL so important to assist in preventing data theft incidents from occurring through the use of its browser warnings.

Do I have SSL installed?

If you are running Google Chrome on the latest update, you can visit your website and you will either see a ‘Secure’ or ‘Not Secure’ notice. If your website says ‘Secure’, you have implemented SSL and know that you data is being transferred securely.

If you don’t have SSL, try to load your website with https:// instead of the non-secure http://. If you see a ‘Secure’ notice, you have SSL installed. If it shows ‘Not Secure’ or any other browser warnings, you don’t have SSL installed.

I have SSL!

Your visitors are browsing your site knowing that their data is being transferred securely between their browser and your server. Great job!

I don't have SSL!

You’re not alone when it comes to sites without SSL implemented. There are even some major brands who haven’t implemented SSL yet. It’s time to get this implemented before Google starts to penalise your website in its search rankings and in the Chrome browser.

But how do I secure my website?

Good question. To start with, it’s best to identity what type of certificate you will need depending on the purpose of your website. There are different types, all at different price ranges and some may even require you to purchase multiple certificates depending on how you display content to your visitors (across subdomains etc).

Still unsure?

If you’re still unsure about the type of certificate which is right for you, we are on hand to assist you in securing your website sooner rather than later. You can contact us here.

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