If you do not have an SSL certificate on your website yet, chances are that Google could flag your site somewhere in 2019. And this step should come as no surprise – because internet security is becoming more and more important given the prominence of the internet in our daily lives.
It is not like this was entirely unexpected either, because Google has said that it was going to make this change as early as the end of 2017. If you do not have an SSL certificate on your website, visitors are going to see ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar when they arrive at your site. What are the added benefits of having an SSL certificate on your website and why should this matter to anyone?
Why is this a big deal?
Why should you care about possible being flagged as ‘unsafe’ by Google? A single small warning at the browser bar, who is going to look at that? You should care if you want Chrome users to visit your website. And if you don’t care about Chrome you should, because over 60 percent of all users on the internet use Chrome.
If a user uses anything after version 62 of Chrome and your website takes any type of text input (this can be search bars, contact forms, login panels etc.) and you still use HTTP, you could see security warnings.
Imagine the potential damage this does to the perceived credibility of your website. Why would someone want to buy your product if they believe that your website is not secure? Why would they want to use your service if you are unable to manage your website?
Why are SSL certificates so important?
There are several reasons that an SSL certificate is important. These are just a handful of the reasons why your website would need an SSL certificate.
- You can encrypt sensitive information – Before it arrives on the destination server, any information that is sent from computer to computer. This means anything between the server and computer can see potential passwords, usernames and credit card numbers unless this is encrypted. When you use an SSL certificate, this information is encrypted (e.g. unreadable) to anyone who is not supposed to see this information.
- Keep cybercriminals at bay – Cybercrime is becoming an increasingly large problem in an online world. These criminals are going to identify weakness in the network and exploit them. And most weaknesses occur during the transmission of information. Even though it may be impossible to avoid cybercrime altogether, having an SSL certificate on your website is a good step in the right direction.
- Build trust – Users want to feel safe, and seeing that green address bar and lock icon in their browser is going to make users feel safe about browsing your website. Even if you are not actively selling something on your website, it is still a good feeling for users to know that their information is traveling across the internet safely.
The conclusion should be simple, make sure that you secure your website with an SSL certificate before Google flags your website. This is going to save you so much more trouble down the road.