Secure Socket Layer or SSL encrypts data that travels from the user’s web browser to the web page’s server to help ensure that users can enter their private information without it being hacked. Before 2017, most people felt that moving from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) or obtaining an SSL certificate was unnecessary unless they were collecting billing information on their e-commerce website. Now, there are several really good reasons to spring for that SSL certificate to secure your website and the information collected through any form, even if you don’t have an online store.
Search engine ranking
Google gives preference to websites with an SSL certificate. Since 2014, Google has given encrypted sites a boost in rankings over unencrypted sites. Now Google is talking about applying penalties to HTTP sites for further motivation for people to secure data being transmitted from their website.
Warnings that may scare away potential visitors
Before October 2017, HTTP web pages with password and credit card fields were marked as “not secure” in Google Chrome. Since then, the Chrome browser has started showing the “not secure” warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode. Mozilla Firefox is also showing a warning – a gray lock icon with a red strike through it on HTTP sites asking users for their passwords. If your website has a contact form or other type of form, or a newsletter sign-up this applies to you.
Protecting your visitors
Besides encrypting their personal and financial data, there are two other main reasons for securing your website with HTTPS and SSL – authentication and data integrity. Authentication verifies your ownership of your website so when people visit it, they know it’s really you. Data integrity addresses whether data in transit has been tampered with. Hackers have figured out ways to divert data collected from forms on http websites so your visitors information lands in their inbox, instead of yours.
Making the transition to HTTPS
If you are ready to transition from HTTP to HTTPS, Flip Flop Freelance can help make this process as smooth as possible. Contact us today!