Add HTTPS To Your Website
At the beginning of 2017, Google outlined a plan to begin marking sites using the HTTP protocol as “not secure” – encouraging webmasters to move to the more secure HTTPS protocol. HTTPS is part of Google’s quest to make the web a safer place, at least in terms of personal information. We have now arrived at Phase 2 of this plan, and businesses will build trust with HTTPS. Notice the difference in this comparison:http://www.LTnow.com – is not secure vs. https://www.LTnow.com – is secure.
Users Expect Privacy
Google has been subtly changing the look of its security warning over the last few incarnations of its Chrome versions. For individuals concerned with the privacy of their information, these changes serve to provide better information about site security. Because most site users expect privacy and security, many webmasters have made the move to HTTPS.
In the first phase of this project, only HTTP sites asking for passwords or credit card information were flagged “not secure.” The second phase extends to individuals browsing in incognito mode on sites that require a password or any other input field.
Eventually, ALL sites using HTTP will be flagged as “not secure.”
Public Networks Can Be a Problem
Picture this: you’re in a coffee shop, checking your email on your laptop. If you’re like most people, you have a handful of tabs open, and you skip around a bit. You might switch from your email to Facebook to Amazon to Twitter and never miss a beat.
Hotels, coffee shops, convention centers, and restaurants typically offer free public Wi-Fi, and a lot of people use it in order to save their mobile data. A website visitor entering in personal information does so under the assumption that their information is protected in transit. They expect that their name, email address, credit card information, and/or password is not visible to anyone else on the network. This is where HTTPS comes in. Sites that value security (like Amazon or LTnow.com) use the HTTPS protocol, providing a degree of protection for personal information while on these open networks.
However, navigating to a website that uses HTTP potentially exposes your personal information to others using the coffee shop’s open Wi-Fi . Think about it – how much attention do you pay to the web address when you’re surfing the web and sipping your latte? This is one instance where HTTPS is extremely helpful in preserving your personal information. It might not seem like a big deal if you are just browsing the web, but if a hacker can tell the difference between someone shopping for a $40,000 home vs. a $400,000 home just by watching their browsing habits, that is a breach of privacy to be concerned about.
(For more information on how to use a public Wi-Fi safely, check here.)
Build Trust with HTTPS
Google has been very straightforward about their intention to create a more secure browsing experience. They have conducted this intention much like a triage system. HTTP sites collecting visitor information via forms are first on the list to receive the “not secure” warning. However, going forward, Google will be flagging ALL pages not using HTTPS, regardless of page content. Just like the big lock shows up at the top of your browser and catches your attention that you are surfing securely, pretty soon the green lock will be so commonplace that the red locks will be what stands out.
Privacy Begets Trust
If your site is still operating under the HTTP protocol, the time has come to make the move to HTTPS.
Even site visitors who don’t understand the distinction between HTTP and HTTPS expect security of their personal information while they are on your site. As HTTPS becomes more prominent, that perception will change. The conversation will change from one of security to one of privacy and trust. Eventually, it will lead to the measure of a website’s (and a business’s) overall quality.
Moving your site to HTTPS will help to safeguard visitor information and help your website align with Google’s quest for a more secure web.