The ‘S’ in ‘HTTPS’ is so important.
Earlier this year Google announced that they would start to display a ‘Not Secure’ warning sign on sites that do not have an SSL certificate. But even now, months after the announcement was made, we are still seeing websites out there that don’t have SSL certificates. HTTPS is crucial for 2 reasons. One, it keeps your data secure, and two, it keeps your customer’s data secure.
Credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive information that you might not want to be accessible to the everyday hacker is put at risk every time it’s entered into a site that does not have an SSL certificate.
HTTPS is “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol” with “Secure Sockets Layers” included. SSL (the acronym for Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol designed to make Internet transactions safer and more secure. You’ll find them mostly on eCommerce websites, as these types of sites need to be able to keep financial data secure but is also used on any site that may gather sensitive data, like passwords or emails.
For me, seeing that a website has a green padlock next to the URL or an ‘S’ in ‘HTTPS’ gives me a good level of confidence in a site and almost no hesitation when it comes to entering my personal details into the site.
Like me, more and more customers are becoming increasingly aware of internet security and fraud and know to look out for the padlock symbol when buying online. Having an SSL Certificate installed on your website gives customers confidence in your site and confidence that their details and payments are being transmitted securely. If you do not have this in place, like me, some customers might choose not to purchase from you, and instead of a competitor.
Looking at the SEO side of things, when Google announced they were tightening up on online web security, they made clear that any websites that doesn’t have an SSL certificate will see significant drops in their search engine ranking positions, so using HTTPS will make your rankings appear higher.
Furthermore, something I briefly mentioned earlier, Google has also introduced HTTPS changes into its Chrome browser, which now notifies users if the site they are visiting has a standard HTTP with a ‘Not Secure’ warning in place of where you would normally find the green padlock.
Why not? The cost of adding it to your site is only a small fee. But making sure that your data and that of your customers is safe from attackers is more than worth it.