Google and the push for a Secure Web

Google and the push for a Secure Web

Google has been pushing for a Secure Web for a couple of years now, and the writing is on the wall for sites that aren't running in the 'https' protocol.

Mon, 9th Apr 2018

From July this year (2018), websites that aren't running all pages in the 'https' protocol will display a 'Not Secure' warning when viewed on Google Chrome  (this includes the mobile version too)!

Other browsers are set to follow suit, but as usual, it's Google that's leading the way!

So what is HTTPS?

Websites are typically viewed through a web browser using the standard 'HTTP' protocol (Hypertext Transport Protocol). HTTP does not invoke any encryption, so it's easy for malicious software or a hacker to monitor what you are doing, and what you are keying. 'HTTPS' sees the addition of 'Secure' to the name, and the invocation of SSL encryption, which essentially scrambles the page for anyone that's watching.

For a site to operate in HTTPS, an SSL Certificate must be installed on the server to enable the encryption to occur.

When HTTPS is invoked successfully you'll see a green 'Secure' notification adjacent to the web address in your browser, and in most browsers a padlock symbol too. You will typically notice HTTPS when making online purchases.

Google now wants all web pages to be running HTTPS regardless of whether the page is capturing sensitive data or not.

What is the impact of this change?

If your website isn't operating permanently in HTTPS when Google publishes the change in July, then visitors to your site that use the Chrome web browser will be notified that your site is not secure. This could 'alarm' these users, and thus deter them from viewing your website.

In addition to this, Google has been slowly working towards preferencing secure sites over non-secure sites in it's rankings. This process is set to ramp up, and will ultimately see diminished search engine rankings for non-secure sites.

What do I need to do?

If you are an existing Genesis client and your site is not yet secure, we will contact you directly regarding the work required to secure your site, and a summary of costs. If you are not a Genesis client but would like help securing your site please contact us.

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