No HTTPS for your website? From July, Chrome will warn your visitors!
Google is keeping its promises and will soon clearly warn people who use its Chrome browser when they visit a website that is not using HTTPS. So, make sure to use HTTPS as soon as you can to avoid your visitors getting scared by the alarm bells!
HTTPS: the carrot and the stick
The makers of the most popular browsers have been making considerable efforts for a number of years now to encourage webmasters to use the secure HTTPS protocol. In various articles, including “Three important reasons to switch to a HTTPS website”, we explain the benefits for both users and websites. Google e.g. ranks HTTPS websites higher in search results.
After having convinced various websites the gentle way (the carrot), Google is now brandishing the stick, and will start penalising the most obstinate webmasters who are not using this secure protocol yet.
What exactly is going to happen?
From July 2018, Internet users who visit an HTTP website with their Chrome browser will see a “not secure” warning in their address bar.
And whereas in the past this warning was only shown on websites with sensitive content (input fields, passwords, etc.), it will soon be shown on any ordinary HTTP website.
What about the impact?
Visitors of an HTTP website will get a wake-up call: any communication with this website is not secure. This means the data shared between the website and their computer can be intercepted and changed. They cannot even be sure that the website they visit is actually the website it claims to be.
The impact of this warning is huge. With its Chrome browser, Google has a massive market share (from 41.38% in India to 63.77% in Spain). Other browsers (Mozilla, Edge, Safari) also follow the example set by Chrome.
How will switching to HTTPS affect you?
If you want to offer an HTTPS website to your visitors, you will need an SSL certificate. Such certificates are available in different formats, from simple, free Let's Encrypt certificates, which offer a basic guarantee, to advanced certificates that also guarantee your company’s standing (extended value or EV certificates).
If you want to find out more about how you can implement the SSL certificate, please read our article “The SSL certificate: what should you do?”
You have spent so many hours working on your website and building customer trust, so do not let all your efforts go to waste by making sure your website does not show one of those scary “not secure” warnings! An SSL certificate (free or paid), which is necessary to establish a secure HTTPS connection, is a must, and it is quite easy to install!