Google has recently announced that starting July 2018 it will mark all HTTP websites as “Not Secure.” Considering that a vast amount of Chrome traffic comes from HTTPS sites, Google decided to flag all platforms that don’t have this secure encryption.
Google has been advocating for safer data transfer for a long time. Virtually anyone could be prying into your web traffic when it’s in transit between your browser and any server. The search engine giant has been preparing for this change since rolling out Chrome 56 in January 2017, marking all pages that contained passwords or required payment information as not safe. A second stage took place later that year, in October, when Chrome 62 became available and flagged any HTTP page opened in a Private Browsing window as insecure.
The Chrome 68 release scheduled for July 2018 will be the third and final stage of the strategy to make the internet a better and safer place for everyone. Other search engines, such as Firefox will soon follow suit and make HTTPS encryption mandatory as well.
What Is HTTPS and How Does It Work?
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure and represents an updated version to HTTP, a protocol that allows data transfer between a user’s browser and the platform they access. Simply put, this version of HTTP encrypts all exchanges between the two entities. Until recently, HTTPS was a requirement for websites that performed online transactions, such as online banking or online shopping. However, starting this summer, all platforms should enable HTTPS encryption if they want to maintain their current search rankings.
An HTTPS page uses either a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt communication. These two protocols are asymmetric system, meaning that they use a “public” key and a “private” key to secure communications, with each of these keys being able to decrypt only the other one.
What Are SSL Certificates and How Do They Work?
An SSL certificate is a small data file that you install on a web server, and that activates an encrypted connection between the server and the browser internet surfers use to access and view your content. This certificate changes the website’s URL protocol from HTTP to the secure version, HTTPS. A security padlock icon visible in the website’s URL signalling its existence.
If the connection between a browser and a server is not secured through an SSL certificate, then it becomes easier for hackers to access sensitive personal information. For example, if you type your credit card data into an unprotected website, your chances of getting hacked increase considerably. Experienced hackers seize any security breaches in web browsers, so it’s important to eliminate these loopholes by using a secure connection.
Why Are SSL Certificates Important?
Like we previously mentioned, virtually any hacker can disrupt the connection between your website and your users’ browsers. That represents a massive threat to both parties, especially if the connection includes the transfer of sensitive data. Using an HTTPS connection means this important data is secured and even if someone do manages to hack into the connection, they will not be able to decrypt the information, rendering it useless to them.
What Are the Benefits of HTTPS?
To recap, the main thing HTTPS will help you with is encrypting all data between your website and your users’ browsers, making it impossible to intercept. That way, your website’s visitors will be able to verify whether you are the secure, or not and if you own your domain. Moreover, they will be more likely to trust you and become customers, seeing that their actions and data will be protected.
It’s easier than ever to enable HTTPS, so if you still haven’t done it yet, don’t waste any more time – not just for the sake of Google’s deadline, but for establishing yourself as a secure and professional business in the eyes of your prospects.
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