You’ve probably seen a Not secure message appearing in the upper left of your browser on certain web sites. This indicates the site is not using the HTTPS protocol. More importantly it means all visitors will be warned the site is potentially dangerous and search engines will lower the site’s ranking.
What is HTTPS?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is used at the front of a URL (e.g., https://www.VISTECH.com) when communication with the site is encrypted. Encryption uses an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to change data that goes from your browser to the website and from the website to your browser, making it unreadable to everyone in between. This assures malicious parties (i.e., hackers) can’t see or change the data visitors are viewing or entering on a website.
Why is HTTPS Important for Your Website?
The encryption assures information viewed and data entered on your website is just between you and the visitor. This is critically important when you are collecting personal data or processing transactions like credit card orders. No one should enter information on a website that isn’t HTTPS, but HTTPS is also important for websites that aren’t handling sensitive information. Interaction with unencrypted HTTP websites can be intercepted and changed. Hackers can inject ads or links, making it seem these are part of your website. HTTP sites are also at risk for attacks that impersonate or spoof a website. These make visitors think they’re on your site, when they’re really on a fake.
Search engines have been including use of HTTPS is their ranking algorithms since 2014. If your website is an important component of a marketing plan, it needs to be HTTPS. Otherwise reaching the top of the results page is highly unlikely.
The Not secure message is a warning the cybersecurity aware visitors. Given the meteoric increase in deceptive websites on the internet, scams and information theft must always be top of mind. HTTPS conveys a level of trust to your clients & prospects.
HTTPS also improves the web browsing experience. Modern web browsers detect unsecured websites, sometimes explicitly asking visitors if they want to continue, resulting in higher bounce rates. HTTPS web pages load faster and perform better.
Using HTTPS for your website isn’t optional. It protects against hacking, provides assurance to visitors, improves search engine ranking, and increases website performance. If you need help designing & building a website that’s secure, usable, and focused on improving search engine rankings, call VISTECH at 860.251.8003.