The average person, both tech, and non-tech savvy, probably haven’t noticed the shift in websites becoming more secure. These days, every website on the internet needs to be secured with an SSL certificate. In fact, Google has recently made it non-optional.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which basically encrypts the connection between your browser (Google Chrome, Safari, etc.) and the website you’re viewing. You can tell if the website you’re viewing is secure or not by looking at the top left of your screen in the URL bar. You should see a green padlock that says “Secure” (in Google Chrome).
This is especially important when you’re making a purchase. You should never input your credit card or other sensitive data into a website that isn’t secure.
As of a year ago, you only needed to secure your website if you collected sensitive data- but moving forward, ALL sites need SSL certificates.
How to make your website more secure:
If you host your website with a reputable host such as SiteGround, you’re in luck! They offer free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, who believe every single site on the internet should be secured. Not only is it free, it’s extremely easy to set up. Just log into your website’s cPanel and find the Let’s Encrypt icon. Then choose your domain name from the drop-down menu, and click “Install”. Once that’s finished, click the slider to turn on “HTTPS enforce”, and you’re finished! Refresh your website and you should see the green padlock. If you don’t see it, or get a warning that your website has mixed content, it is usually due to some URLs not switching over to the “https” version. Your website may need a little more configuring from a professional.
What happens if my website isn’t secure?
Nothing good, I’m afraid. Google is already flagging sites as “Non-Secure” when you view them on Google Chrome, which puts a bad taste in the mouth of your users. They may think it’s unsafe to view your website. Pretty soon, Google will start to penalize the ranking of websites for being non-secure in favor of competitors who use SSL certificates. Despite it being a pain to have to add a certificate to your site, this is actually a good thing! You can read more from Google about securing your website here.
Need help sorting it out?
Of course, please contact me if you need help setting up your SSL certificate. It costs under $100 to make your site secure and trustworthy in the eyes of your customers. Don’t miss out!