When it comes to increasing website security, it is very common businesses may ignore the signs due to various factors such as time, cost, potential disruption or the fact they may not see an immediate return. But ignoring these signs is harmful for website owners and website visitors.
Google has responded by announcing that effective as of this month, it will be tackling websites that are not encrypted, i.e. with a URL beginning with “http” instead of “https”.
What is HTTPS?
HTTP is an acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol, while HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. It refers to the way in which data is sent between the browser and the website. Encrypting communication, it is used to protect confidential transactions such as online shopping and online banking.
How is Google Responding?
For websites that are unencrypted, Google will now show a “Not Secure” message in the address bar when users visit the page. To secure data including usernames and passwords, as well as credit card details and other confidential information, the search engine will apply this change to all sites- incognito or non-incognito.
Incognito vs. Non-incognito
For site owners who have not converted their websites, incognito visitors in particular will receive a warning every time they visit the site- which is estimated to be half the internet audience.
For those viewing in non-incognito mode, the message will appear when accessing a form such as submitting an enquiry or subscribing to mailing lists.
With half of the world’s internet users using the global browser to search, the warning alerts are predicted to pose risks for businesses who’s site displays the message. This means they should act.
How Can You Know if Your Website is HTTPS?
- Ask your website developer who will be able to advise
- Register your website with Google Search Console for diagnostics and analytical tools as you need them
- Look out for alerts from Google notifying website owners their content is not HTTPS
- Visit your website and look out for the green “Secure” text or the grey (soon to be red) “Not Secure” text
(image courtesy of Google Developers)
Will Google’s Tactic Work?
With over half the world’s internet users using the Chrome browser and being subject to these alerts, absolutely. In this digital age we are all aware of the importance of taking precautions on the internet and securing confidential information. This consumer uncertainty will affect business as their audience will hold back in interacting with their site.
To find out more about your website or convert to HTTPS, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.