You wouldn’t hand a burglar your keys after closing your business for the evening, in the same way that you wouldn’t tell a known criminal the easiest ways to break into your house when you’re on holiday.
So why would you leave your website without an SSL certificate, essentially making it about as secure as a piggy bank situated next to a safecracker’s union meeting?
“But what is SSL certification?” we hear you cry, desperately hoping a hacker hasn’t intercepted your site yet.
In a nutshell, SSL certification allows for secure connections between web servers and web browsers.
To ensure that a site is secure, the SSL certificate uses small data files which bind together a domain, server or hostname with an organisational identity and location and once these data files have worked their magic, all web browsing performed onsite will be safe from prying eyes and thieving hackers!
Typically, SSL certificates are used for:
• The secure use of credit card transactions
• Data transfer and logins
• The secure browsing of social media sites
You’ll know if your website is encrypted by checking the padlock situated in the web address bar (its location will vary depending on the web browser you use). If that padlock is locked, you’re secure. If it’s open, then so is your site.
Only a few years ago, not having SSL certification wasn’t a big deal if you weren’t handling sensitive information. But Google has grown wise to the benefits of SSL – which is why it’s penalising any site without it.
Google’s quest for full web security
View an unsecure site via Chrome on your computer/laptop and you’ll find an ‘i’ symbol in place of the standard padlock. Click on this symbol and you’ll be greeted with a message which reads:
“Your connection to this site is not fully secure. Attackers might be able to see the images you’re looking at on this site and trick you by modifying them.”
Imagine being a website user and seeing this message. You’d leave the site you’re browsing quicker than Usain Bolt in a race against the Millennium Falcon to see who could win in a race to beat the speed of light.
This warning from Chrome is a part of Google’s wider campaign to “Encrypt All Things”, and it’s likely that they’ll impose more penalties on unsecure websites in the future.
And if you think you’ll be unaffected because you don’t use Chrome, bear this in mind – Google’s browser accounts for around 54 per cent of all browser usage.
Our advice? Get SSL certification as soon as possible BEFORE it starts impacting on the number of users visiting your site.
To fix your SSL woes, get in contact with our team – we’ll sort the problem on your behalf.