Google has announced that starting next month, October 2017, they will flag all websites that are not encrypted and ask for any information through forms, as “NOT SECURE.”
Website encryption is used to secure data that is given by the visitor while on that website and to protect privacy. Google started doing this in January 2017 for websites that asked for personal or purchasing information, but starting in October, they will flag websites that ask for ANY information on web forms as “NOT SECURE”. So how will this affect your website?
If your website isn’t encrypted, it uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and doesn’t have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. This means that the information passed between website visitors and the website is open and vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack.
Encrypted websites use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and have SSL certificates installed. The SSL certificate ensures that the information passed between the website visitors and the website is encrypted which stops hackers in their tracks.
How To Switch Your Website To HTTPS
For starters, an SSL certificate must be purchased (In some cases you may be able to use a free certificate from Let's Encrypt). Before purchasing the certificate, you must check with your website hosting company and find out how they handle SSL Certificates. Usually this involves obtaining HTML code and adding it into the header of your website.
Once the HTML code is installed, you need to republish your website and see if the green padlock is showing in your browser. In some cases, websites may include unencrypted content requiring you to go through every line of content and update everything to https internally. Those must be reviewed and resolved in order to show your site as secure. You then need to add redirects for all pages of your website, and re-index your site through Google & Bing.
Help! This is way too technical!
If this is above your skill level, WebX can help you with this. To start, we can obtain the SSL certificate on your behalf and install it on your website. Next, we review your site and identify & resolve potential problems with the change to encryption. We add the necessary redirects to your website, and then we re-index it with the major search engines. And we do it right the first time.