Google’s smooth way to encourage secure browsing

Is your website safe and secure for your customers to browse without any concern that their private information could be intercepted? Does it even matter? Google and other leading browser creators say “YES IT IS!!!” Here is why…By now a lot of website owners probably have been contacted by their Hosting Provider (HP) or their Website Developer (WD) telling them about the upcoming updates to do with Google Chrome version 62.

Google has ultimately given WD’s a six month window to prepare for the next phase to take all of the http pages from ‘Not secure’ to ‘Secure’ (https). This is causing a concerns for website owners, namely those in small business. They are the ones who more often than not do not have huge budgets for their websites ongonig marketing and maintenance. On the other they are expected to also comply with little to no notice.

What makes it even more difficult is the amount of HP’s and WD’s who do not know that it is happening or why. This is something that they should be aware of by now. If they are not aware they could end up costing you business or impacting on your bottom line. By Google encouraging secure browsing, they are making sure users have a good experience online when visiting websites. To help the process along they need you to have the right people supporting you to create a safe browsing environment for your website visitors.

Early this year Google released Chrome version 56 which started to show the early signs of labelling sites as non-secure. Typically it was limited to sensitive information like login forms and payment card pages. This label was used to advised users that their information is being sent via an unencrytped connection (http). It can make a website potentially vulnerable to a “man in the middle attack”. In this type of attack, data sent by a user after completing a form is intercepted during its transmission to the web server by a third party. The third party can then use this information for their own gain or other reasons.

As of October, this will change to EVERY HTTP site being labelled as “insecure”. This is because almost every site allows or asks users to input any data in to a form of some kind. It is not limited to Chrome either. Upon doing research we found out that FireFox and Opera will be joining Chrome to achieve https everywhere/secure browsing.

While we get that secure browsing is cruicial and appreciate its benefits. Surely there is better ways of making people aware of the issue. Just as an thought, maybe a discreet warning tag in their current version of chrome for users to see? It would stop website owners finding out the hard way in October. We can see how this could be Google’s “SMOOTH” way to introduce it in to the market place.

What does this mean for website owners? It means that you have to get an SSL Certificate for your website. We recently sent out an email to our clients advising them of a PAID and a FREE solution. It was decided that it was not only morally a good thing to do, but more importantly, the ethical thing to do.

Like our existing customers, you can choose to go with the AutoSSL or Lets Encrypt options in the marketplace. These vendors provide customers a FREE SSL Certificate but can be subject to renewals every couple of months. There one thing to keep in mind with the free option. That is users are reporting some incompatibility issues with some browsers. Alternatively you purchase an SSL Certificate which will last up to 2 years.

The installation process is fairly straight forward in both instances. Keep in mind that you will more than likely need adjustments made to your website at the same time.

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If you would like to know whether your site will be affected comes October 2017, complete the following form and we will assess your website for FREE.

For more information on this topic you can see Google’s official announcement about moving towards more secure web browsing by going here.



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