The internet is always changing and as a business it can be hard to keep up. One thing that you cannot let slip is the security of your site. Google is pushing for a more secure web, their aim is to get the entire web operating over https.
What is https?
Information is transferred over the internet using the hypertext transport protocol, otherwise known as http. A https connection simply implies that the connection is secured to protect the information being transmitted.
A Secure Socket Layer, commonly known as an SSL certificate, provides a public and a private encryption key. The keys protect the data being transferred over the internet by encrypting it with the public key as the transfer begins, the private key which is stored on the server is able to translate the data it receives. Without the private key any intercepted data is undecipherable nonsense.
Adding an SSL certificate to your site changes your connection from the standard http to the secured https connection. How the secured connection is displayed to the user depends on the browser being used, some show a padlock, others turn green but you can rest assured your user will know their browser settings and understand when a site is secured or not.
What happens if my website does not use https?
If your website operates on the standard http connection it could be hurting your business in a couple of ways. Firstly, you could be losing traffic as Google gives precedence to sites that are secured in its search results. But, more importantly, the visitors you receive may be actively discouraged from using your site. Towards the end of 2016 Google announced that in January 2017 their Chrome browser would start to label any http pages with passwords or credit card form fields as not secure. Chrome marks a site as unsecure by placing a big red triangle and the words Not secure before your website address. Google also announced that they will extend the type of pages they mark as unsecure in future updates. Their end goal is to mark all http pages as unsecure.
As of July 17, Chrome holds the largest market share of internet traffic in the United States at almost 45%. This means that there is a pretty good chance that your customers are using Chrome. If your site is being marked as unsecure it is highly unlikely users will provide you with their personal data or purchase your products. If you haven’t already made the change from http to https I highly recommend making it a priority.