If you are seeing this message (see image below) on your website, or a website you are visiting, it’s because Google is forcing websites to have a SSL Certificate. Effective July 2018, site’s that do not have a SSL will be flagged by Google, and a message will be displayed in your browser that says the website is “Not Secure.”
Why is Google Forcing Websites to Have a SSL?
Google wants to protect its users. So, even if you do not sell products through your site or collect payments, you’ll need to purchase a SSL for your website to avoid having this message displayed.
Ecommerce stores have been expected to have a SSL because they are accepting credit card and personal information from users, but now the requirement is expanding to all websites.
What is a SSL Certificate?
A SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology to establish an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. This connection makes sure that all data passed from the web server to the browser remains private and secure.
SSL Certificates encrypt sensitive information such as credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information. When a website has a SSL, the information becomes readable only to the server, and helps to protect the user from cyber criminals.
Having a SSL Certificate on your site also helps to build trust and brand authority, as your customers will be able to see the lock link and green address bar, which indicates you are using a trusted encryption.
If you don’t have the SSL certificate on your website, a secure connection cannot be established.
What Information is Found in a SSL Certificate?
- Serial number and when it expires
- Digital signature of who issued the certificate
- Name of the holder of the certificate
- Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
How to Obtain a SSL
To enable HTTPS on your website, you must purchase a SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) (for example, Go Daddy). Unless you have multiple websites or sub domains (blog.example.com), the basic plan should do the trick for your website, but confirm with your IT person or Certificate Authority before purchasing to be sure.
Once your certificate has been purchased, you will need to approve the certificate, backup your site, change your internal links, check code libraries, update external links, and create a 301 redirect.
A 301 redirect is important because if a user visits a link that does not have an “S” at the end of HTTP, they will be redirected to the secure site.
Not updating to HTTPS jeopardizes user’s trust and creates a security risk. There is no advantage or reason to not update to HTTPS, and now that Google is now factoring it in their algorithm is all the more reason to update.
Need Help with Updating to HTTPS?
Contact us and tell us what site you are trying to update and where you are in the process. Through our support services, we can help you install and configure your SSL Certificate, backup your site, change internal links, check code libraries, update external links & create 301 redirects as needed.