Google has given the official date (well, month) when all non-HTTPS websites will be marked as “not secure”, and what Google says goes.
As mentioned in their blog post, as of July 2018 Google Chrome version 68 will warn users when they try to access websites that are not secured by an SSL certificate. This means if your website currently does not have one, now is the time to get an SSL certificate!
But wait, what is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. Encryption is the process of scrambling data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key. – GoDaddy
Make sense? No? We have you covered. Essentially an SSL Certificate is a digital computer file (or small piece of code) that has two specific functions:
- Authenticates and verifies the ownership and personal/business information of a website that proves to users that you are who you say you are.
- Encrypts all transmitted website data — scrambles it up so no one apart from the actual recipient can read it.
OK, so why do I need to get an SSL Certificate?
Because Google says so and since Google Chrome makes up 57% of all the browser market share a lot of your website users will also use it.
But really, there are many more benefits to having an SSL Certificate than just making Google happy. An SSL certificate provides your website with:
- Increased security through encryption of confidential and sensitive data
- Authenticity of your business credentials which increases visitor trust
- Visible security signals that proves your website is secure
- Compliancy to accept online payments
- SEO improvements as SSL is considered a ranking factor in Google
How do I know if I have an SSL Certificate?
To check whether your website is running an SSL certificate you can also use the online SSL checker tool provided by SSL Shopper.
In Google Chrome, if your website is running an SSL certificate your site will load with a green padlock and the word “Secure” next to the URL bar. It should look something like this:
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you won’t see the green padlock or the word “Secure”. In some cases, internet browsers will also flag websites that are not running an SSL certificate as insecure and this will be noticeable to viewers. Eventually your website visitors will not be able to view your website within Google Chrome without seeing this notice:
OK this looks important, so how do I get an SSL Certificate?
Luckily it has never been easier to set up an SSL certificate as the world slowly moves towards a more secure and safe internet for everyone. Chances are your website hosting provider will already offer SSL certificates to purchase, or you may even have one available for your website without even knowing. Most SSL certificates can be purchased through your hosting provider for a small fee and can be renewed yearly.
There really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t have an SSL certificate on your website but time is running out if you want to keep your Google traffic happy. If you would like us to get an SSL certificate for you and install it, or want to check whether your website is secure, contact us today. We are more than happy to assist and make this process as effortless as possible for you.