Have you ever noticed the green lock icon on the web browser address bar? What do you think is it good for?
From time to time, I am dedicating an article to security issues we all face as online entrepreneurs. Securing the front door of your website is the very minimum you should be able to do if you run an online business. You’re not leaving your front door at home wide open either, when you go out, are you?
Beyond this very basic step, I always recommend thinking security in layers . This way website security gets less overwhelming. You are able to tackle its inherent complexity in a more healthy way, and you will reap a lot of benefits from doing so.
Applying SSL (or the green padlock) to your website is not so much an aspect of securing your website. It is more about securing the communication between your website and your visitors.
Yes, they do, actually! We often don’t think about, what is actually happening when we browse websites.
There are some tech things happening in the background before you actually get to see what a website has to offer.
This communication – or exchange of data between your screen and the website’s server – is vulnerable.
This vulnerability can be countered with a secured data transfer. If you see a website with a green padlock in its address bar, you know the website owner has configured the data transfer in such a way that it is safe.
The website’s address begins no longer with http://…, but with https://… .
3 Reasons Why you Should Switch from HTTP to HTTPS
You could take the position, of “Why should I care about that?”. And yes, maybe you just should ignore it and move on. But the most comfortable road is not always the best road.
So, let’s stretch for excellence, shall we? And I will give you a few reasons why you should indeed care.
Reason 1 – Google is using HTTPS as a ranking signal for SEO
It is indisputable that Google is a driver for change and certain developments on the web. We as online entrepreneurs pretty much depend on that. If Google decides to change its rules for SEO – many of us experience some kind of tailspin and try to reposition or adjust the SEO strategy they used to rank as high as possible in Google’s search results.
In 2014, Google began to call for ‘HTTPS Everywhere’. Now it’s 2017, and Google is enforcing this call.
To encourage website owners to switch from http to https, Google is strengthening its approach. They are not doing this because they have fun or nothing else to do. Its goal is to keep everyone safe on the web. The more websites participate in this movement to establish a better online security, the fewer hackers can perform low-level attacks and ruin the life existence of online entrepreneurs.
Reason 2 – When running a website shop you DO NEED a website with SSL
It’s probably safe to say that as an online entrepreneur, you will begin thinking one day about selling your products and services. To open a web shop on your website is an obvious thing to do.
Now, the moment you set up an online shop you have to think about securing the data transfer to and from your website.
Because when you want to be paid for what you are selling, you have to provide a safe payment gateway for your visitors, so that they can safely enter their credit card details on your site.
Imagine, you enter your credit card details on an unsecured website, only to discover soon that your credit card details were stolen (“eavesdropped”) and is now used to buy the web empty!
Securing your website with SSL projects a certain trustworthiness you cannot afford to dismiss.
So, the second reason obviously only applies to you when you plan to build an online store.
But the first reason should be a very valid reason for each and every one of us. Who doesn’t appreciate a high ranking in Google’s search engine? But wait, there’s a third reason.
Reason 3 – When running a membership site you also NEED an SSL certificate
Since SSL has been rolled out as a ranking factor in 2014, Google is marking all websites that collect passwords or credit cards as nonsecure, if they are not using HTTPS.
Yes, even a website that “only” collects passwords is affected.
If your visitors are using the Chrome browser (the one that has “Google inside”) and accessing your non-secured site, they are being greeted by this:
Are you sure you want your people seeing that in your URL bar?
Over To You
These were 3 good reasons why you seriously should consider to make the switch to https soon. Like tomorrow.
In my eyes, it is actually not a decision whether or not you should do the switch. I think it is more appropriate to think about the How.
In my next article, I will explain some of the tech lingo that is involved in this task of switching your website to https. I will also point out the options you have: like using a web host’s certificate, a free or a premium SSL certificate.
And finally, I will share some best practice tips with you, about what to do AFTER you have SSL installed. There’s always something that can possibly go wrong. Good preparation is everything.
If you want to add this layer of security and would like a helping hand because of all this tech lingo, you may want to reach out to someone who is comfortable with technologies for modern businesses.
I help online entrepreneurs in taking the stress out of tech and setting up their business so that it is safe and reliable.
Feel free to reach out to me and discuss your needs in a free Discovery Call. It’s totally free and you have nothing to lose, do you?