You might have noticed that some web site addresses start with "http://", while others use "https://". The extra 's' simply means your connection to the web site is secure, using technology called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt data that is being sent between your browser and the web site server.
Historically, only websites that were transmitting personal or financial data used SSL. For example, you'll see the extra 's' when purchasing products online and when logging into your online banking portal…hopefully. Encrypting data as it travels through the Internet is important since hackers could use listening programs to intercept data transmissions. If the data isn't protected by encryption, they will collect and use it.
Microsoft and Google are now encouraging all websites to employ SSL. Web sites that aren't SSL-enabled will be flagged by browsers as potentially unsafe. Search engines, like Bing and Google, will also include SSL usage in their search ranking algorithms.
You might be thinking, "Why is SSL important for websites that aren't transmitting personal or financial data"? Today, hackers employ very sophisticated technology to get to know you. They collect data on your internet use and then use that knowledge for phishing and other intrusion attacks. So if all websites use SSL, even those that are purely informational, everyone's browsing will be much safer.
If you have a website that doesn't have the extra 's', your search engine ranking and visitor experience are suffering. Give us a call to discuss next steps.