Last year, Google announced plans to penalize all websites without HTTPS. This push to encrypt the web will take effect in October, 2017 and the time for procrastination is over. For those websites without encryption, the Chrome browser will flash a ‘Not Secure’ warning to users. If you don’t hurry and address the issue then you run the risk of losing both Google rank and customers.
What is Encryption?
When a client enters data into one of your forms, the information is transmitted from server to server until it reaches you. Along the way, any person with access can hijack that information. HTTPS does not prevent the hijacking, it just scrambles the info so that it doesn’t make sense to the hijacker.
- SSL protects sensitive information from prying eyes.
- Encryption identifies your site as authentic.
- Any site accepting credit card transactions MUST have SSL for PCI Compliance.
Even sites that don’t accept money often ask for names, emails, or addresses in order to gather leads. Your visitors may balk at entering the information if a ‘NOT SECURE’ sign is flashing at them.
The Cost of Switching from HTTP to HTTPS
The good news is that if you are a service website that has no need to protect financial or medical information, you may be able to get SSL for almost nothing. In 2016, a group, sponsored by Mozilla and others, began offering TSL (Transport Layer Security) encryption free of charge. If your business qualifies, then all you have to worry about is a nominal configuration fee.
However, e-commerce sites still require a higher level of encryption. Since SSL is a requirement for PCI Compliance, there are probably only a few e-commerce sites without encryption in place. It’s possible if you accept Paypal payments or only operate through third-party payment processors, then you might not be encrypted. To find out more, call your web developer and ask them what type of encryption you need and what the costs are to move your site over.
Encryption and Google Rank
There is a good chance you won’t have to worry about clients seeing that ‘NOT SECURE’ warning because Google has announced that it will use SSL as a ranking factor. You won’t have to worry about the message because visitors won’t be able to find you.
Since most sites count on their Google rank for success, this additional penalty for not having SSL is a major blow.
What Should You Do?
If you own one of the many websites that haven’t made the switch to HTTPS, do it today. The transfer only takes a small amount of time and for most the actual cost of your SSL will be free. Connect with intouch Business and find out how you can make the move to an encrypted website before your business suffers.