Do you check for the green padlock and the ‘HTTPS’ on your URL bar before purchasing something through the web and about to enter your credit card information?
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) means that the transfer of sensitive information you enter from your browser to the web server is encrypted and secure using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) as opposed to HTTP which is unencrypted.
It makes sense for business and website owners who are accepting sensitive information to use SSL to provide their customers a level of protection.
So is browsing on HTTP safe as long as the user is not entering sensitive information?
Well, as our dependency on the internet has grown, the risk to users’ privacy and safety has grown along with it. There is no such thing as non-sensitive web traffic nowadays.
The interception and tracking of unencrypted browsing have become commonplace. Every unencrypted HTTP request reveals information about a user’s behavior.
As a business owner, your website should be on HTTPS by default to provide a better user experience for your potential customers.
HTTPS/SSL is becoming the Default across all Websites
The technology behind secure hypertext transfer protocol that encrypts your connection to a website, so that hackers can’t intercept any of your data is SSL or Secure Sockets Layer.
When you land on a web page that has a form, and you filled out that form hit ‘submit,’ the information you just entered can be intercepted by a hacker on an unsecured website.
This information could be anything from credit card information, login information, and other critical personal information you enter to register for a membership or an offer. A hacker can also collect and aggregate browsing habits of visitors from unsecured websites and infer identical information.
Would you want to compromise your visitors’ and customers’ privacy and security?
But when you visit a website that’s encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the web server, look at the SSL certificate, and then bind together your browser and the server. This binding connection is secure so that no one besides you and the website you’re submitting the information to can see or access what you type into your browser.
The HTTPS and the green padlock icon will soon be an indicator that it is safe to be on your website. If you made an effort to ensure the privacy and security of your web visitors by using SSL, then your audience and target customers will trust you more.
In a study, only 3% of online shoppers say they would enter their credit card information on a site without the green padlock.
HTTPS is now a Google Ranking Signal
Google’s Zineb Ait Bhajji and Gary Illyes said, “…over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web”.
Google’s Chrome browser has started displaying “not secure” in the browser bar for any sites on HTTP that ask for login or credit card information.
This feature will deter people from using websites that are not on HTTPS. Many business owners will feel its impact. Make sure that you will not be affected.
Wrapping up here’s what you will get by moving to HTTPS by enabling SSL on your website:
- Protect the integrity of your website
- Protect the privacy and security of your users.
- Increase the trust factor of your business and website
- Get a Google ranking boost
- Make visitors choose you over websites on plain HTTP
Do you agree that HTTPS is a better way toward a more secure web for users? Let me know what you think.
Have you considered installing SSL on your website already? There are technical issues and nuances involved in doing this, and this has to be done correctly.
You may contact me here through my secure website.