Beginning July 1, Google Chrome will flag your website if you do not have an SSL certificate! In preparation for Chrome version 68 launch, Google is making greater efforts to secure the web. With increased dependencies on online platforms there is a need to secure your online environment. Your website stands on the forefront of this. Google estimates that two thirds of the websites don’t have the appropriate security protocols and as a result will be flagged.
What does it mean to get flagged by Google?
If your website has any text inputs or if it starts with ‘HTTP: //’ it will get flagged by Google. This means that any time someone visits your website, they will see a ‘Not Secure’ or ‘Privacy Error’ display in the URL bar. Your customers may also see this message and as a result might think your website is not secure. This can cause significant damage to your brand image and may result in a loss of business.
What is SSL and how does it help?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and has been around for over two decades. A website with SSL essentially provides a safe way for sensitive data of your website’s visitor over an encrypted connection. SSL ensures that all data passed to and from the website remains confidential and secure. An SSL certificate contains the following information,
- Name of the firm
- Serial number and expiration date
- Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
- Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authority
Despite the benefits of SSL, majority of online websites have decided not to implement SSL security protocols. This may be due to the price of the certificate or the complexity of implementation. It is however, much easier to obtain an SSL certificate nowadays. Free certificates should be avoided.
The main benefits of having an SSL certificate
Enhance Website Security: SSL certification will boost your site security and will protect sensitive data that is transmitted from or to your website. Information such as login details, payment details or personal information will all be protected. SSL certificates will encrypt the connection and will protect against hackers.
SEO Advantages: With an SSL certificate installed on your website, it will greatly improve your online rankings. Google gives websites with encrypted connections a boost in rankings compared to websites that do not have an SSL certificate. It is therefore important to be certified, if you want your websites organic rankings to be higher.
Boost Brand Image: An SSL certified website will have visuals like the lock icon and green address bar that indicates the website is secure. If a customer visits the website he can be assured that his information is being stored/shared in a safe environment. This will greatly improve the brand image of your business and will promote security and peace of mind when conducting online business.
How can you obtain an SSL certificate?
If your firm has a website then purchase it from a Certificate Authority such as Network Solutions, Go Daddy or Webnames to name but a few. Certificate installation and purchase is not something you should do yourself. Contact you Web Developer or IT company to assist you with the installation.
What if I do not use Google Chrome?
Other browsers are not affected by this change at this time. However, it is only a matter of time before this change is adopted universally so we advise that you make the change to your web site now to better secure it.
If you would like to learn more about Secure Sockets Layer certificates click here!
Faraz Mehmood is a Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Faraz can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner and an Authorized Worldox Reseller.
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