Is Your Website Secure? ‐ Important Changes from Google

With the launch of Chrome 62, Google announced via their Chromium Blog that as of October 2017, HTTP pages will start showing a “Not Secure” warning when users begin entering data in a website form or whenever they are browsing via Incognito mode. The “Not Secure” label will eventually be displayed on all pages without SSL in Chrome, regardless of whether or not they contain forms or are being displayed outside Incognito mode. This warning is shown for websites whose browser-server connection is not encrypted, and to remedy this, the website needs an SSL certificate.

Next Steps Toward More Connection Security

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing a safe and secure connection between a server and a browser. This makes sure that all the data
exchanged between these two parties is encrypted, and is noted by the HTTP prefix becoming HTTPS.

So, how does this actually work?

Currently, when you land on a page that has a form and lacks SSL, your information is in danger of being intercepted by a hacker. This means that any potentially important information that you fill out might get stolen without your noticing, setting off a series of unfortunate events. Hackers often place undetected listening bugs on a site so that when a visitor begins inputting information, it collects that information and then sends it to the hacker—names, card numbers, emails, addresses, etc. are all fair game. When a site is encrypted with SSL, the browser will look at the SSL certificate and bond with the server immediately. This small but essential change impacts each and every website owner and it does so in three big ways:

  • Data Safety
    SSL certificates encrypt, or scramble, data being sent and received so that eavesdropping hackers can’t decipher or use any information transmitted. Data, by nature, can’t be invisible on the internet, since the point of the internet is to share with multiple people or locations. However, SSL is a strong deterrent and protection layer against common data thievery.
  • Visitor Trust
    Trust is the foundation of the relationship between your business and its clientele. Seeing the green padlock reinforces trust and heightens the probability of people staying on a page; moreover, according to recent Hubspot research, as high as 85% of people will abandon a page if it is not secure.
  • Search Engine Visibility
    Google Webmaster Trend Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes state that SSL is now part of Google’s SEO ranking algorithm. Sites that are not SSL certified will start seeing a decline in their SEO as Google tries to serve secure, quality content at the top of their results for search terms. Two websites that would otherwise rank the same will see a contrast in their ranking if one of them is not secure.

In addition, there are other things that you should keep in mind when deciding SSL certifying your site and the effect that has. As stated by Ginny Rometti, IBM’s Chairman, in 2015: “Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” Cyber crime statistics are on the rise, being the one illegal activity whose damage cost keeps skyrocketing. By 2021, crime damage costs will hit $6 trillion, $3 trillion more than what was predicted just two years ago.

Next Steps Toward More Connection Security

How can I tell if my website is secure?

There are some features that distinguish a secure site from the rest. For one, the URL shows an “https://” prefix, not “http://.” The green padlock is also a sign to look out for, as seen in the example below.

While nothing is guaranteed to be 100% bulletproof against the hackers and viruses of today and tomorrow, adding an SSL certificate to your site is a large and proactive step towards the future of the web. Not sure if your site is protected? Check out the SSL status tool by Symantec and enter your website address to see if you’re currently protected.

I need to protect my site – what should I do?

A company’s online presence is key to success in today’s business landscape and that is why Press Foundry wants to help. The certificate that best suits you may change depending on how much content you host and if you happen to host in various platforms. It is also important to note that no matter where you get the certificate, they all have expiration dates and are up for constant renewal, which in turn needs constant monitoring.

As a special treat for all of our readers and clients, we’re offering to undertake this task for a small, one-time $150 fee. It is worth noting that unless otherwise outlined by your Press Foundry project manager, the certificate itself is free and the fee covers one-time setup and domain adjustments. As you can see, maintaining a strong bond with your customers and visitors as well as keeping your hard-earned place in search results is essential and that is why Press Foundry wants to make sure that you and your company stay on the road to success by making your website SSL certified. Interested? Drop us a line below to get started:

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About Dan Bernal

Dan Bernal is a Project Manager at Press Foundry, a Boston-based WordPress development agency. From managing all the creative aspects of successful networking events with big TV chains and small boutiques to making strong client connections and fortifying effective partnerships throughout his career, Dan loves blazing trails and making a mark. In his spare time you can find him perfecting his digital art, reading, or dancing.
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