Google’s SSL Certificate Requirement
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Google’s SSL Certificate Requirement
Is Your Website Compliant?
Google’s SSL Certificate requirement is affecting more than just a few business owners. This article is important if you have a website that people view on Google Chrome. With over 2 billion installs, if you have a website, there is a good chance that it is being viewed on Chrome.
WHY DO YOU NEED AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
In March, we wrote this article about why all websites would eventually need what’s called an SSL certificate installed on their website. An SSL certificate gives users of your website the confirmation that your site is secure (see image below). Google’s SSL Certificate Requirement is being launched in phases.
As expected, Google made another announcement and they are increasing the requirement for anyone with a website form.
WHY IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE IMPORTANT?
Before I get ahead of myself, the following will refresh your memory about Google’s SSL certificate requirement. I’ll also review what task SSL Certificates perform, and why they are important.
Behind the scenes, an SSL certificate secures data that is passing from your customer-facing website to your inbox or database. Or, wherever the data’s final destination may be. It protects against hackers intercepting the data and doing bad things with it. If someone does hack information from your website, would you be held accountable for damages?
You may have been a victim of hacking recently as identity theft and fraud are on the rise. We were. About a year ago, someone stole my personal card info and then spent $183 at Kroger in Texas. Similarly, my husband’s account was hacked and they spent $79 in a hardware store in Florida.
Hackers are getting smarter and Google is rising up to do their part to protect all Google Chrome users. Or at least, make them aware when they are or are not on a website that is secure.
HOW IT AFFECTS YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?
Here’s how that affects you and your business. Your customers may make the choice to leave your website when they receive the “not secure” notification and find a site (most likely your competitor) that is secure.
Here’s how it’s happening. As of now, if you visit a website that does not have an SSL certificate installed (e.g., does not have an https:// and secure notification at the front of their website name in the menu bar as seen in the image above), that website will show a small “i” icon.
Most people don’t know what this is, and so are ignoring this warning.
Google tells us that effective October 2017, no data that users type into websites should be accessible to others on a network. Chrome version 62 will thus show the “Not secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites (not-secure sites). That can occur in a contact form, blog post comment, lead capture form etc.
That means if your website has any of those types of input forms noted above, and your site does not have an SSL certificate, it will be marked as non-secure for your customers to see. (See image below)
This is Google’s way of pushing the web towards HTTPS. As of November 2016, more than half of Chrome desktop page loads are served over HTTPS. However, Google wants to push that as close to 100 percent as possible.
Adding an SSL certificate to your website tells your visitors that you are “trust-worthy”. This immediately builds credibility. It is also used by Google as a ranking signal for your Search Engine Optimization, removes any “non-secure” website warnings, and protects your WordPress login credentials.
Eventually, Google plans to show the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode (searching incognito can be achieved by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N). They will publish updates as they approach future releases, but don’t wait to get started moving your website to HTTPS.
Below, we are providing you with additional links to sources that will help you verify the content of these statements.
If you are interested in updating your website with an SSL certificate, we can help. It improves your user’s experience and ensures compliance with Google’s standards. We can help.
To learn more about working with us to update your site, you can check out our SSL Certificate Website Updates service on our website.
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I work personally and virtually with clients around the globe. We specialize in website development, website care + consulting, and custom design. Our value added services offered during a project can include graphic design, copywriting, video editing, and Search Engine Optimization to name just a few.