Plans for Google’s HTTPS 2017 protocols were announced way back in 2014. At the time, they called for websites to conform to the secure HTTPS format and do away with HTTP.
The reasoning was (and is) sound. Not changing over will negatively affect your website for anyone using Google’s Chrome browser. And there are a lot of Chrome users. Get on this HTTPS protocol now for a new, secure website.
Important for Chrome Users
At its simplest, this change may seem only to be about adding ‘s’ for ‘secure’ to the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) that appears in a website’s address bar. You know a site is secure if it sports ‘https’. Sometimes a little padlock will also appear or accompany the web address.
The purpose of Google’s HTTPS October 2017 deadline goes beyond that. If any of your HTTP web pages have forms on them (for users to fill in with information), opening them on the Chrome browser will be a problem. On Chrome, Google will flag these http pages with forms as ‘not secure’ and display a warning.
Google is trying to protect itself, you, your website, and the people who access your site. With HTTPS, there will be strong encryption between the Chrome user and the website’s server.
Three Reasons Why
- Authentication: It’s fairly easy for someone to duplicate a website and then divert traffic to the fake one. There are plenty of examples found through e-mail and even text messages trying to lead you to specific websites to steal your information.
- Data Integrity: Is the data on the site you’re visiting legit, or has someone gained access and tampered with it while it was in transit to you? This would include forms sending the information input by you or a visitor.
- Encryption: This is, of course, the security of information between client and server. While security of the HTTPS level is commonplace on e-commerce sites, it’s important on other sites as well – especially those using forms.
Here’s a fourth reason… HTTPS for your pages with forms will rank better in Google searches than HTTP alone.
Why is Google’s HTTPS 2017 call-to-action happening now and not several years ago? Many websites aren’t secure and theft of personal data is at an all-time high. Fixing that problem requires time and plenty of advance notice. Google is facilitating this inevitable change because the old ways cost individuals and businesses billions. Google set an advance deadline, added a few perks like better rankings for secured sites, and people listened.
Few people will disagree with the idea of better security to protect their data and online security. But, of course, problems can arise when changes like this cost time and money. Purchasing the necessary certificates can vary in price according to your internet service provider.
Don’t Forget SSL
In addition to the October 2017 HTTPS reform by Google, there is also the question of SSL (secure socket layer). It is quite typical that for a website to transmit and receive critical data, it should have the means to encrypt communications.
This is where SSL comes in. Buy an SSL certificate, if you haven’t already, because it will provide an encryption key that is then stored on the server.
If you haven’t already made the switch to HTTPS, get on it immediately or risk annoying customer who use the Chrome browser. You may need the help of better web developers and hosts. Here’s the process in simple terms:
- Secure a security certificate.
- Install the certificate to your site.
- Reconfigure your site to direct from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Redirect in-coming HTTP requests to the new HTTPS site.
- Re-verify ownership of the site through Google Search Console and update sitemaps.
- In Google Analytics, update the configuration of your web property.
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