Google is Requiring Websites to Switch to HTTPS or Show Up as Non-Secure - Part 1


September 5, 2017 By

Cheryl Dykstra

If your website collects sensitive visitor information such as passwords, credit card information, or other personal data – be warned.

Earlier this year, Google made changes that started to mark websites without HTTPS as non-secure on Google Chrome, Google’s own web browser that has 59.38% of the browser market share. That’s way above the second highest used browser, Safari, with only 14.88% market share.

If you haven’t already made the switch to HTTPS and purchased an SSL certificate to protect visitors and your site, now is the time.

What Exactly Is HTTPS?

“HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) are both protocols, or languages, for passing information between web servers and clients,” according to Search Engine Journal.

What is important to take away from it is that HTTPS is a secure connection, whereas HTTP is unsecure. With a standard HTTP connection, it is possible for unauthorized parties to observe the conversation between your computing device and the site.

An HTTPS connection adds a blanket of security over that conversation using an SSL/TSL protocol (Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security) that prevents cyber eavesdropping, protects against data corruption, and authenticates communication.

To ensure the safety of Google Chrome users, Google has begun to penalize HTTP connections by alerting users of what it is… insecure.

Here is what a non-secure vs. secure web form looks like (notice the URL bar):

How to Secure Your Website

To enable HTTPS on your website, you must first acquire an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). This acts as a stamp of approval from a trusted party because it ensures your website is legitimate and secure.

Once you have your certificate, it needs to be installed and your website will need to be updated. That includes doing a full backup of your site, changing all your internal links, checking code libraries, updating all external links that you can, and creating 301 redirects.

It’s also important to update your URLs on Google (Search Console, Analytics, Adwords), anywhere else you are running paid aids, on all your social profiles, and across all your top citations.

This process can be very involved depending on the size of your website and web presence, but the alternative is leaving your visitors unprotected and jeopardizing their trust in your business.

Google Chrome flagging HTTP sites as unsecure is just step one of changes soon to come that better protect the privacy and security of sensitive information. There’s no reason to delay HTTPS any longer.

If you’re ready to make the switch to HTTPS, call us today at (407) 682-2222. 

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