Having a secure website gives your customers/visitors a sense of security while browsing content on your site and making online payments. Likewise, it also helps in search results as Google will use it as a rank signal. With the festive season coming soon, it is very likely that many of you would go online and shop or book a hotel, flight or make online payments. But before you do it is absolutely necessary that you make sure that the website you are browsing on is secure. With all of this online shopping’s, lots of personal information-phone numbers, home addresses, and credit/debit cards will be flying around the internet. This personal data translates to dollars for cybercriminals who are gearing up for the heavy traffic and increased online sales in the upcoming months. So how do I find if the website is secure? The easiest way to find out is to look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the website is secure. Such sites will also have the word “SECURE” on the right side of the search bar or if you are using Mozilla Firefox browser, you will find a “padlock” instead of the word secure.
WHAT EXACTLY IS HTTP/HTTPS
This is a very technical thing to talk about – but in an effort to make it simple:
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) – this is just the basic reference to how information is shared on the internet in its original form, basically as plain text. This allows anyone to view that information who gains access.
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) – this is the same as HTTP but the difference is that the information gets “scrambled” into character strings via an SSL certificate. Only the receiving and sending computers can then see that information. Others may be able to access it – but they will never be able to “read” it because it is so scrambled.
So you own a website for your business and are wondering why do I need to secure my site. Well, the advantages are numerous; Here are my top 3 reasons why you need to secure it right away.
- TRUST– When visitors see a “NOT SECURE” warning or an “I” next to the URL – even for people with little technical knowledge, it may cause them to run – fast. By showing a “Secure” signal you are then becoming a trusted website in their eyes and will not be concerned with leaving comments, filling out forms or doing any other activity on your website.
- SEO – Google has mentioned it is a ranking factor – and even if it is only a small factor, it may just be enough to give you an edge over a competitor.
- CHROME – With the upcoming changes and the large usage of this browser – not having a secure website will be a trigger for insecure warnings.