Whether you’re making a purchase online or posting on Facebook, you’ve placed an inherent amount of trust in the internet that the data you’re sending and receiving is secure. Unfortunately, it’s a reality that this trust is under frequent attack—from identity fraud to phishing and other scams. Every public credit card leak or email breach shines a light on just how common security problems can be. That’s why Google is introducing new measures to further protect users. The search giant has stated that they will start factoring web security into their ranking signals, and HTTPS will play an important factor.
HTTPS is basically a more secure version of the standard HTTP protocol that until now most web traffic has used. It encrypts all of the communications between you and the web server. Traditionally, HTTPS (HTTP secure) has been used to secure the transfer of data on ecommerce sites or web forms where personal information is exchanged. It’s not a new technology and has been a part of the larger set of web technologies for years.
This past spring Google started removing browser functions on sites that are delivered by non-secure connections. Specifically, the geolocation feature that allows a browser to identify your location will not work if you’re using Chrome on a non-HTTPS site. It’s not unreasonable to believe that other functions that use some type of personally identifiable information will be disabled in future versions of the browser. There’s also search implications: Sites/pages that use HTTPS will be ranked higher than non-HTTPS sites. For example, 30 percent of all sites now listed on Google Page 1 now use HTTPS.
This coming January 2017 will bring another major issue. Google will start treating non-HTTPS sites as inherently insecure whether or not there is an actual security issue with the site. When users of the Google Chrome browser visit a non-HTTPS site, they will be presented with a pop-up message saying the website is insecure. As Chrome now has around 50 percent of the worldwide browser market, this presents a potential huge branding hit for sites that are not using HTTPS.
At Godfrey, we’ve recently upgraded our site to increase security and ensure the confidence you have when visiting us.
Now you’ll be browsing the Godfrey site under HTTPS, the secure version of HTTP behind HTTPS to move the entire web into a more secure future.
Security doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, but now would be a great time to get out in front of these changes. It will have a profound effect on how visitors see your website. And with the start of the new year approaching, having a look at HTTPS will help to get you started on more secure footing.