HTTPS and SSL encryption
We all want our websites to be secure, especially at a time when even the tiniest of vulnerabilities could have such a huge and devastating impact upon day-to-day business operations. ‘Cybersecurity’ is certainly one of the most important considerations for modern website owners, but it’s never been more important than right now. Why? Because Google is about to change the face of online security forever.
From July 2018, Google Chrome is set to make history, becoming one of the first major web browsers to actively penalise websites that are failing to use HTTPS and SSL encryption. This means that even if you’re confident that your website is secure, if the web address begins with HTTP, rather than the secure version HTTPS, Chrome will mark the site as being potentially insecure. Take a moment to consider what this could do in terms of your brand’s digital reputation, your traffic, your conversions, and your sales.
What is an SSL?
So what is an SSL, and why does Google think it’s so important? Quite simply, an SSL, or ‘secure sockets layer’, is a protocol that adds an extra layer of security to your website through the use of encryption. And as an added bonus, an SSL also makes sure there’s a direct link between user and website, removing the need for confidential data to travel between one and the other via a third party.
Why Use an SSL?
The obvious answer, of course, is because websites without an SSL are set to be penalised with an ‘insecure’ tag by Google Chrome from July onwards, which could significantly affect user behaviour. However, there are actually many ways in which your website could benefit from a little added security:
If your search engine optimisation efforts aren’t quite delivering the results you’d hoped for, consider whether a lack of SSL is the reason. Google prefers HTTPS websites.
Commitment to Security:
We all understand more about online security than before, and many of us are actively seeking to use companies that demonstrate a commitment to our safety.
Improved User Experience:
By using an SSL to encrypt user data, you’re being proactive in minimising the risk of breaches. A smooth transaction can really boost customer experience.
There are many, many different ways that you can choose to add extra security to your website, but very few are proven to be quite as cost effective as a low cost SSL certificate.
Your Next Step
Unfortunately, while an SSL looks set to be an essential protocol for websites going forward, implementing and setting up a secure sockets layer can sometimes be time consuming, confusing, and downright frustrating. This is especially true given the recent changes to Google’s certificate transparency logs, which maintain a list of all publicly-issued certificates and identify fakes and frauds.
If your website gathers any sort of personal data from users, such as names, addresses, or financial details, then it’s time to call in the experts.
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