Site Security

This summer, Google is making big changes…changes that will impact the way people look at and visit your site. If you’re not prepared, you’ll see your web traffic plummet. What is this change? It’s a new way Google will label the security of your site, and it all comes down to one little letter in the string of your URL.

HTTP vs HTTPS

We’ve covered the difference between HTTP and HTTPS in some other blog posts about encryption. When your site is marked with HTTPS, this means it’s encrypted by an SSL certificate. The data your users input into your site, such as their credit card information and mailing address, is hidden when it transfers between their computer and your website’s server. Unlike sites marked with HTTP, sites labeled with HTTPS are secured by an SSL, hence the “S.”

Change is Coming

Starting in July, any site without a proper SSL certificate will be marked as “Not Secure” by Google Chrome. Such a label will deeply damage your web traffic and your trustworthiness. If users don’t believe their info is safe on your site, they’ll no longer fill out forms, place orders, or join mailing lists. With the plethora of internet data breaches over the past year, your users have good reason to be cautious.

A quick Google search shows that a lot of sites already have SSL certificates, as indicated by HTTPS in the URL and the green lock icon in the top search bar. If your site falls into this category, you’re good to go. (Or you should be….If your SSL was authorized by Symantec or its brands Thawte, VeriSign, Equifax, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL, you should start considering another SSL provider. Google is removing all trust from these brands.)

If you don’t see a green lock icon and instead see either a gray information symbol or a red triangle, you need to invest in an SSL certificate immediately. If you don’t, you’re bound to experience a loss of traffic, an influx of errors, and more.

example of insecure website URL

Moving Forward

Obtaining an SSL certificate is much easier than you may imagine. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be renewed every single year.

To obtain an SSL, simply reach out to a certified small business IT support team. Our team has the expertise and know-how to properly install an SSL certificate appropriate to your site. They’ll even handle renewals so you never have to worry about losing the security of your site.

Some sites are more complex and involve multiple domains or subdomains. If this is the case, there are several SSL certificates our team can help you choose from, including extended validation SSLs (perfect for large companies with sensitive info), essential SSL wildcards (ideal for companies with at least 3 subdomains), and extended validation multi-domain SSLs (which cover up to three domains).

You’ve worked hard to build the reputation of trust and professionalism that defines your business both online and off. A simple certificate is all it takes to ensure your site is secure and your trust is intact this year and the next and the next.