It’s not uncommon for people to ignore basic online safety advice – plenty of us will click on odd looking links out of curiosity, happily risk infecting our computers to find the latest episode of Game of Thrones, enter bank details without a second thought, and use the same password for everything because we’re too lazy to remember more than one.
It’s clear not all of us care as much about our own internet safety as we should. So in response to people’s poor online choices, Google’s taken it upon itself to force the Internet into a safer realm.
Ok, so it sounds good, but what does it really mean? Let’s break it down –
Simply put, a website certificate is a form of ID from a trusted source that says ‘this site is legit and uses encryption.’ Pretty much – if the site starts with HTTPS, as opposed to just HTTP, it’s safe.
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure and is your way of knowing that a site has a ‘Secure Socket Layer’ or SSL. To translate that – essentially it encrypts the data travelling from your browser to the server and protects your private information.
Without a doubt – yes. Approximately 50% of Internet users prefer Google Chrome, so if you want a safe and useable site for consumers, it’s time to get secure.
There’s four main reasons why it’s important, which are –
This is the main reason why you need HTTPS, especially if your site requires sensitive information.
It doesn’t instill confidence in a customer or user when they see a big red ‘Not Secure’ next to your webpage.
In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS and SSL were going to become ranking signals.
Another cool benefit, is that you can track referrals who have come from other secure (HTTPS) websites. If you’re currently on HTTP, clicks from any HTTPS sites that are linking to yours will not show up in Google Analytics as a referral – so you have no idea if they’re sending traffic your way.
Take it straight from Google, who on their support page give this advice on how to secure your site with HTTPS.
Today, most providers have free built in SSL options for their sites (for example WordPress and Squarespace), which would do the average business just fine. But, some SSL providers offer high warranties and assurances which you may want.
Is your site HTTP or HTTPS? Need a hand figuring it out? You know where to find us 😉