What to look out for.
Staying secure on the internet is obviously important. Although not the whole picture when it comes to website security, an important marker to look for is whether the URL of the website you’re visiting begins with HTTP:// or HTTPS://. URLs that begin with HTTPS:// are using an encryption technology between the server and your browser. If you use Chrome you may have seen a “Not secure” message in Chrome’s Omnibox on some of the websites you may have visited. This was Chrome telling you the website you’re on doesn’t use this encryption. Up until now, this message only displayed on a selection of HTTP pages but from July Google Chrome will make it much easier to spot which websites are using this encryption technology and which aren’t. According to a Google blog post published yesterday, Chrome will display “Not Secure” on any and all websites that aren’t using HTTPS encryption. This is part of a worldwide movement to make the internet more secure for everyone. These days there really shouldn’t be any reason not to adopt HTTPS encryption, particularly with services such as Let’s Encrypt offering free and easy to implement SSL certificates.
So what does HTTP vs. HTTPS mean for me as a website visitor?
If you encounter a page that uses HTTP instead of HTTPS you may have to ask yourself why hasn’t this website implemented this technology yet? It’s free and it’s relatively simple to do. My advice, in this case, is to be careful, or get in touch with the website owner and let them know, they might not have realised. It becomes especially important on websites with login forms or if you’re entering personal information, if that website isn’t using HTTPS, you’ll probably want to reconsider entering any information into it at all. Fortunately, because of Chrome’s change, it will be really obvious if they’re using HTTPS or not.
What does the Chrome change mean for me as a website owner?
Use HTTPS. Honestly, at this stage, there is no reason not to. In fact, your search rankings can be harmed if you’re not using HTTPS, and now with this change, there’s another big reason you should encrypt. From July Chrome will be broadcasting to your customers and clients that your website is “Not secure”. Ask yourself if that is a message you want to make about your business. If you have any questions about implementing this technology on your website, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
In Summary: From July, Chrome will display “Not Secure” on ALL HTTP pages. Visitors: Be careful on HTTP websites. Website Owners: Use HTTPS!