In 2016 it was Adult Friend Finder, in 2017 it was Equifax and in 2018 it’s Facebook. Data breaches of both personal and sensitive information are occurring with increasing frequency, causing perhaps the biggest concern for anyone going online: keeping their information secure.
Malware, scraping bots, website spam and ransomware are constant threats, and most likely will get worse. No amount of preventive measures or practices will entirely protect you from a potential loss of your personal and/or private data.
But, there is good news! With the amount of technology available today, the odds of protecting your information are better than ever. Many websites are already adapting more secure measures to protect their visitors, but you should also make sure that the online places you visit are taking advantage of it.
When it comes to protecting your own website, you need to utilize whatever tools at your disposal to keep it – and your visitors’ information – secure. One very important step you should be taking is changing from an HTTP domain to an HTTPS domain.
HTTPS is an enhanced version of the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) standard used to facilitate the exchange of information on the Internet. The “S” stands for secure, which means the HTTP connection is encrypted, effectively preventing exchanged information from being read by unwanted eyes. HTTPS makes it more difficult for hackers to track what users are doing, which helps keep their information private and secure.
Until recently, HTTPS was used only on web pages where transactions took place, or other sensitive information was submitted. Users could recognize these pages by the green padlock icon in the address bar. But in light of the Facebook fiasco, it’s become vital that you prevent hackers from acquiring any and all information about you and all visitors to your website, no matter what they’re doing. HTTPS can be an effective deterrent.
According to a recent study, 31% of all domains are now using the HTTPS protocol. For Fortune 500 companies in the financial and business services industries, the amount using HTTPS is an amazing 74%!
Using HTTPS has other advantages:
1. Come in first. Google started recognizing HTTPS sites back in 2014, and when it comes to your site’s rankings, an HTTPS site will be favored over an HTTP site, thus your site will rank higher — and have higher sales.
2. Be the good guy. A recent survey showed that 6 in 10 internet users are concerned that online companies don’t properly secure their personal information. Such savvy users understand and recognize a site that uses HTTPS is looking out for their information, and will trust/prefer it over an HTTP site that offers the same product or service.
3. Turbocharge your mobile. AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a convention implemented by Google in 2015. Combined with HTTPS, which already makes your website load faster, AMP will make the user mobile experience for your site positively ecstatic!
Converting your domain to HTTPS is a win-win, but not only for the benefits described above. Staying on top of the latest website security and privacy technology will provide a better user experience for your clients and prospects, which reflects on the way you do business. And they’ll keep coming back.
On the other hand, if you don’t convert your site to HTTPS, you’re losing business. Aside from Google ranking your site lower than your competitors’ sites who have converted, all browsers are now alerting visitors to sites that are not using HTTPS. And in July, 2018, Google Chrome will start marking all HTTP pages as NOT SECURE.
When considering an HTTP to HTTPS conversion, it’s likely one of the first questions that comes to mind is How much will this cost? The answer – not nearly as much as not converting. It’s actually a simple process and not very expensive at all.
To convert to HTTPS, your site would need to be reviewed, and any potential problems or incompatible elements addressed. Once that’s done, you would need to acquire an SSL certificate, which is not really a certificate at all, but an application.
Once the SSL is installed and configured, all your pages would need to be updated to reflect the new protocol. A few smaller tasks later, you’re all set!
This is not something you should wait on. The internet is going full secure so you don’t want to be caught unprepared. Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll get you secure in no time!