Now is the Time to Convert to HTTPS

by Maggie Munley

If your site is not secured with HTTPS, now’s the time to start reconsidering things.

Google will be implementing their next step towards making everyone’s online experience more secure.  Recently, Google sent notifications to owners of websites that contain forms but are served over HTTP indicating that Google Chrome will begin marking these types of sites as “Not Secure”.  

Google recommends that all sites containing login fields or forms with specific types of input fields should be encrypted and served over HTTPS as opposed to HTTP. Implementing HTTPS will prevent sites from being flagged as insecure or displaying that unsightly red ‘x’ over the padlock in the URL bar.

So, what even is HTTPS?

Well, for starters, HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It serves as an internet communication protocol that helps to protect the integrity and confidentiality of data shared between the user’s computer and the site.

But HTTPS won’t just protect data, it also will ensure that the user is actually connecting to the right site and not an imposter one that has been meddled with or interfered with by some middle-man. By adopting HTTPS, you’re protecting your site with three key layers of protection: encryption, data integrity and authentication.

Protecting encryption means that exchanged data will remain secure and safe from any eavesdroppers. Nobody will be able to “listen” in on conversations, track any activity or steal any information.

As far as data goes, it cannot be modified or corrupted during the transfer without being detected, so the use of HTTPS is beneficial in that sense.

 

The third layer, authentication, proves that users are communicating with their intended website. HTTPS protects against any potential outside attacks, which builds user trust as all users automatically expect a secure and private online experience. In turn, this comes along with other business benefits.

 

Photo accredited from Chromium Blog

But converting to HTTPS isn’t only about security. Having a secure site can actually improve your search rankings. However, migrating from HTTP to HTTPS may temporarily affect some traffic numbers, as Google will treat this transfer as a complete URL change. One way to minimize the effects of this is to add the HTTPS property to Search Console. From there, Search Console will treat both HTTP and HTTPS separately. So, if you have pages in both protocols, it’s suggested that you have a separate Search Console property for each one.

But having that said, it really is simple to switch over to HTTPS. A site-wide 301 redirect can be put into place to send users to secure URLS.

Ultimately, transferring things over to HTTPS will reap several benefits that HTTP security just couldn’t offer. Encryption will certainly reduce the number of people who can see what you are doing, making it harder for hackers to obtain any login information and credentials. Also, it reduces the chances of being deceived into visiting the wrong site.

Need help securing your website or have some additional questions? Bounce over to our contact form to let us know how we can help! - BTW you will see our site is HTTPS :-)

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