Not Secure: Get Your SSL Certificate ASAP

November 14, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

Google Will Flag Sites Without SSL as Unsafe

As of the end of 2017, Google is going to flag all websites that do not have an SSL Certificate as “Not Secure”. This warning flag will appear in the URL bar in Google Chrome for visitors coming to your site, along with the message that they should not enter any information into your site.

This change will flag two-thirds of the websites on the internet as unsafe. Don’t let this happen to you! It could negatively impact your traffic, conversions and ultimately, sales – not to mention damage brand trust.

What is SSL and why do you need it?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology that encrypts information between a web server and a browser. If your website has any forms or fields where a user can input text (logins, contact forms, search bars, etc.), you need to have SSL to encrypt a visitor’s information and prevent hackers or malware from accessing that information. To create that encrypted connection, you must have an SSL certificate.

The SSL certificate ensures that your customers’ usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and contact information remain private.

A certificate is simply a paragraph of letters and numbers that only your site knows, like a long password. When people visit your site via HTTPS, that password is checked, and if it matches, it automatically encrypts everything flowing to and from it.

Not only does an SSL certificate provide security, it also, according to Search Engine Journal, makes your site load significantly faster and can increase your ranking in a Google Search.

When a site has an SSL certificate, their URL will begin with HTTPS instead of just HTTP. If your URL does not begin with HTTPS, your site is not secure.

OMG! We’re not secure! What do we do?

You can order your SSL certificate from a number of providers – usually your hosting company will offer SSL for a monthly or yearly fee.

You’ll need to prepare a CSR or Certificate Signing request, which is a is a block of encoded text that provides the certification authority information about your server. You also need to have a unique IP address and ensure that the correct contact information is on your WHOIS record (which shows ownership of your domain name).

After you submit the required information to the SSL authority, they will issue a certificate for you to install on your server. For a standard SSL certificate, you should receive it within a few hours to a few days.

Your hosting company can likely take care of this process for you.

Remember: get your SSL before the end of the year, or risk losing site visitors and credibility. And if you need help driving traffic, engaging users and increasing sales, we’re here to help. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.