In a January 2017 e-newsletter Sunrise Marketing listed a few ideas for improving your sites search results (particularly with Google). This list included making sure your site was designed for mobile, that it loaded quickly and was encrypted with a SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) certificate. You may have noticed that when you visit certain sites, such as sunrisemarketing.com, browsers like Google Chrome display a little green padlock and the words “Secure” next to the address. That icon means that the site uses the encrypted web protocol HTTPS instead of plain old unencrypted HTTP.
The internet would be a safer place if all website traffic was encrypted and Google is trying to pressure companies into encrypting their websites with the HTTPS protocol by warning users about unencrypted sites. Beginning in October, Google’s Chrome browser will display the message “Not Secure” in the address bar when users interact with an unencrypted webpage. For Google’s purposes, “interacting with a website” means entering something in a text box such as a username, password, credit card number or search term. You might also occasionally notice the words “Not Secure” next to an address in Chrome–typically when you’re asked to enter a password or credit-card number on a site that doesn’t use HTTPS to protect your information. Starting in October, Google will display the “Not Secure” warning more often.
Here’s a quick heads up – before your fielding emails saying your site has been hacked understand that the notification is just a warning to browsers and not a blacklisting of your website. It is not clear yet if other browsers (Chrome is a Google browser) like Explorer and Firefox will follow suit. They are probably not far behind, but who knows.
You might want to consider adding a SSL certificate to your website. This is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. Once a SSL certificate in authenticated the website’s URL is prefixed with “https” instead of “http” and a padlock is shown on the address bar. If the website uses an extended validation (EV) certificate, then the browser may also show a green address bar.
The most common levels of SSL certificates are DV (Domain Validation), OV (Organization Validation) or EV (Extended Validation). We recommend at least an OV registration and perhaps an EV for e-commerce sites. Prices range from $99 (OV) to close to $1k (EV) depending upon where you source them. We use GoDaddy where the price for OV is $99 and an EV license is $149. These are renewed annually. The main difference is the process for validation (up to 30 days for EV) and the insurance level for each. Most OV are anywhere from $250-$500,000, with EV licenses in excess of $1 million in coverage.
For more information contact us, or check out the articles we’ve referenced in this article.