In January 2017, the Chrome browser from Google will flag HTTP websites as “Not Secure” according to Chrome Security Team’s Emily Schechter. Google has always aimed to be more protective of its users’ sensitive information such as credit card details and passwords from being hacked or stolen. An HTTPS site is one that displays the green padlock in the address bar indicating a secure connection, HTTP sites do not.
A lot of people are unfortunately not aware that transmitting that personal data over HTTP is dangerous because of the possibility of it being stolen via public wireless networks or routers that are compromised. Thus, this move by Google will save the public from this type of data theft.
In the past, Google Chrome did not label HTTP connections as non-secure. Currently, Google Chrome indicates HTTP connections with a neutral indicator that does not disclose the low level of security for HTTP connections.
What Does That Mean For Me?
Most practice websites don’t have the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate in place on their website to offer a HTTPS connection. This means that your website will start to show a warning to visitors that it is not secure. It’s possible most users may not notice this, but many people will. Given the low level of technical knowledge of most web users, they may interpret the warning as suggesting that your site is somehow dangerous or your business is not to be trusted.
Moving forward Google has indicated that the warnings will become more overt, and the risk of negative implications towards your business will increase. The first round of changes is expected to be delivered in January; roughly around the time Google releases Chrome 56.
How Do I Fix This?
In short, you need to get an SSL certificate for your website and you need to adjust your website’s code to ensure it delivers everything via HTTPS. Many hosting companies are able to offer SSL certificates at less than $100, and they will install them on your hosting for you. Free certificates are available but require a high level of technical knowledge to implement, and if done incorrectly can generate even more dire warnings to visitors than not having one at all!
Adjusting your website code to ensure it is delivered via HTTPS correctly can be quite simple if you have a straightforward WordPress Installation, or it may be very complex if you have a custom built site. You also need to budget for testing of the changes to ensure everything is implemented correctly.
Converting to a HTTPS connection has a lot of benefits for business owners. Aside from the security features, it can also give a boost to your website’s ranking in Google, as they have already confirmed it is now a ranking factor and will gain a heavier weight in the coming years.
If you would like advice on migrating to the HTTPS connection before the January deadline, we’re offering a review of your current setup and implementation advice. We’ll assess the availability of SSL certificates for your current hosting and give you a report on what is likely to be involved in adjusting the code of your website. Until the 16th December this review is just $49, but after that it’s returning to it’s normal price of $99. Be sure to claim yours now.
If you then ask us to do the implementation for you we’ll credit your payment towards the cost of any work. Click here now to purchase your Chrome Security Deadline Review.
Image credit: https://security.googleblog.com/2016/09/moving-towards-more-secure-web.html