SSL – Google wants you to do it – here’s the why

Feb 8
2018

This is the year for SSL, if you don’t have an SSL certificate Google will flag your website this year.

We use the internet for everything, from buying, selling, communicating, emails etc etc Online security is a necessity no longer a luxury.

It’s no surprise that the recent flurry of information being thrown at you around GDPR & Data Protection is often referencing cybersecurity. SSL is just one of the ways that Google is working towards a safer internet.

In 2017 Google announced that it would be flagging all unencrypted sites as ‘not secure’ by the end of 2017, you’ll notice this more and more if you’re a Chrome user, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and Safari will soon follow suit if they haven’t already. Expect to see this message alot as Google estimates around 2/3 of the internet is unencrypted.

 

 

Do you need SSL?

  1. Does your website have a login, contact form, search, eCommerce data capture?
  2. Is your website currently HTTP:// ?

If it’s a yes to both then you need to install SSL to avoid any risks of warnings. If you don’t do this soon your website visitors will be seeing that warning. Even if you don’t answer yes to both questions it’s generally a good idea to encrypt your sites as HTTPS (a site with SSL) is a recognised Ranking Factor for search, albeit a minor one.

What is SSL and how does it work?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Basically, any data that is passed between your browser (i.e you typing into a form) and the web server is encrypted and remains private. If you don’t have SSL on the website a secure connection cannot be established.

An SSL Certificate holds the following information

  • Name of Holder
  • Serial Number and expiry date (generally they are annual licenses)
  • Copy of the certificate holders public key
  • Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authority

Why do I need SSL?

Encryption – Any information you send over the internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and that server can potentially see your credit card numbers, usernames, passwords etc if that information is not encrypted.  When SSL is used the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the destination server you are sending the information to.

Cybercrime – According to most reports cybersecurity damages will cost the world over $6 trillion annually by 2021. It’s almost impossible to escape the rising tide of cybercrime. If your site doesn’t have SSL you make it easier for criminals intent on compromising your sites to identify weaknesses on your network and on your site. Installing SSL offers a vital means of defending against transit-based hacks (intercepting the data transmitted between Browser –> Servers).

Trust – If you have a SSL certificate installed your website visitors (customers) will see visuals like the padlock icon and green address bar that indicated the site has well trusted encryption. As a customer I’ll be more assured that my information is travelling safe between my browser and your site.

Summary

There is a raft of info out there on this topic, the bottom line is that it’s best practice now to install SSL on your websites.

We are more than happy to install and set these up on your behalf, if you’d like to discuss further please give us a call or drop us a line!

This post was written by Matt Purser