A little background…in 2014 Google gave a search engine boost to sites that had SSL certificates. In September 2016, Google announced that in January 2017 they would begin displaying the security of the connection in the address bar of Chrome browser users. Currently Chrome is the most used browser, so most visitors will likely see that you site is either secure or non-secure. These two steps are leading to Google’s long-term plan to mark all HTTP pages as non-secure.
What is SSL anyway? It stands for Secure Socket Layer and it basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted. That’s critical if you are collecting any type of information that you aren’t willing to share, with say, a hacker. Examples are this are passwords (do members log in?), contact forms that are completed online, credit card information….anything that you want to keep private and secure.
Now you’re probably wondering…is my site secure? Does it have an SSL? Well, it’s easy to find out. Just go to your website, using the Google Chrome browser and see if there is a green secure lock, like the one below.
If your website isn’t secure, then sometime this month Google will mark your site as non-secure. This will not only hurt your search engine ranking, but doesn’t make your viewers feel very comfortable browsing your site. This is how your site will look on pages that require a password or credit card form fields:
As part of their long-term plan, Google will likely include pages with contact forms in the coming months. So, while your site is not susceptible to this warning just yet, it will be and you should do something about it now.
If you would like more information about adding an SSL certificate to your site, please contact us or your current web developer.
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