I’m going to assume that by now you have heard of HTTPS, but let’s go over some critical reasons why it’s time to give this serious thought.
Around 2010 we’ve started to hear the hype about HTTPS and have begun to see the widespread use on all types of websites. The purpose of HTTPS is for protecting page authenticity, securing accounts and to maintain user communications, web browsing and identity private. The concept of HTTPS is an important factor, and many businesses already migrated to it.
So, what is the difference between HTTP vs. HTTPS anyway?
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure which is the secured version of HTTP. The 'S' at the end of HTTPS means 'Secure' and therefore communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS has been mostly used for protecting highly confidential online transactions such as online banking and online shopping.
If you’ve ever noticed a padlock icon in the address bar? This is the visual indication that the site you’re on is protected and the HTTPS is in effect.
Google takes security measures very serious, especially in today’s world. This will become even more important in the near future – well, actually it already is.
Let’s go over a few quick reasons your website should be HTTPS:
1. Not Secure Message Displayed
Recently Google announced its plans on flagging HTTP sites non-secure if they collect sensitive data. However, Google has a long-term plan, and that is to “mark all HTTP sites as non-secure”. So once this goes into effect even if you don’t collect information on your website it will be flagged as non-secure.
This update will take effect only on Google Chrome (for now). But when we consider the fact that Google Chrome dominates almost 60% of the market share, there definitely is a need to worry.
2. Improves SEO Rankings
Websites that are SSL/HTTPS will receive preferential treatment over non-HTTPS sites which Google has already announced. We have already seen a shift in rankings in our clients SEO campaigns. So, If you haven’t yet, it’s time for upgrading over to HTTPS. Google is continuously working to improve a users experience and that’s precisely what HTTPS sites do. Let’s move on to #3 and talk about UX.
3. Better User Experience
Would you shop on a site and enter your payment information on a site that displays a non-secure message? Most users will not shop on a site or in fact even enter a site if it doesn’t display the green padlock (meaning site is HTTPS complaint) unless you’re a gambler of course. If your website is not HTTPS you are putting your user’s payment information at risk, you are also most likely losing a lot of business.
With the increase in online hacking, users are looking for reassurance that the businesses they are engaging with protecting their private information.
How do I know if my site is secure?
Look at the address bar of your website. You will either see http:// or https:// followed by your URL. If your website shows https:// then you’re secure and updated, however, if it shows http:// then you will have to bring a few changes to your site which begins with purchasing an SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are digital certificates that are used to establish a secure encrypted connection between your computer browser and the website. The SSL encryption ensures that credit card and other personal information is maintained private and secure when you enter your personal information into a website.
What Should You Do?
As mentioned earlier, this change will implement only on Google Chrome. However, it will not be at all surprising when other browsers follow this the same path.