With the ever-continuing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches it’s now more important than ever to make sure you and your customers data is secure. For a number of years Google has been attempting to improve the security standards of the internet through their Chrome browser. They have been a strong advocate of the use of encryption on websites and the need to use SSL certificates to do this.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and essentially, what it does is allow the data that is sent between your website and a visitor’s browser to be encrypted. Using an SSL ensures that whilst the data is travelling across the internet it can’t be read by anyone. This is vital considering the sort of tasks we all use the web for such as online banking, shopping and many other things which involves transferring information we wouldn’t want a hacker to get hold of. You may have noticed that some websites display a green padlock next to your URL bar and run over HTTPS. These are websites that are protected by the use of an SSL certificate and the green padlock provides assurance that the website you are visiting is authentic and has encrypted data.
There are other benefits for using an SSL on your websites in addition to security. It’s been alleged by quite a number of large SEO organisations that if you have an SSL on your website it improves the sites search engine rankings. This line of thinking makes sense as SSL certificates also provide website visitors with a level of assurance as to the authenticity of the website they are visiting. There are also different types of SSL certificates you can purchase that offer varying levels of customer assurance. A more basic certificate will give the website visitor just the green padlock next to the URL bar. These types of SSLS will typically have had some basic validation completed against the domain name. You can however buy a more expensive SSL certificate which in addition to the green padlock will show the company name next to the URL bar. An example of this type of SSL would our own website – https://www.nimbushosting.co.uk/. These types of SSLs certificates will only be issued to organisations that have gone through a number of checks that validate the authenticity of the business that the SSL is being issued to. It’s worth noting though, that all SSL certificates work in technically the same way and offer the same level of encryption.
So why is 2018 the year you need to be considering using an SSL on all of your websites? In July Google will be releasing an update to their Chrome browser that will display all sites not using HTTPS with a warning that they are ‘not secure’. This warning will appear in red text next to the URL bar in the browser and in addition to this, visitors will also see a pop-up warning, informing them that their connection is not private and that someone may be trying to steal their information. To proceed to the site visitors will have to select they are happy in order to continue. The current release of Google Chrome already marks non-SSL sites that ask for passwords or credit card information as ‘not secure’ but after July this will apply to all sites. The latest browser usage statistics suggest that Google Chrome holds nearly 60% of the market share (http://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share) and it’s likely that other browsers such as Firefox & Safari will follow Google’s lead in the push for better security. It’s clear that Google’s vision is to have the whole of the internet running over HTTPS.
There are a few steps you will need to follow if you want to secure your website in preparation for the July Google Chrome update. Firstly, you will need a valid SSL certificate installed on the server your website is hosted on. And secondly, you will need to adjust your website to run over HTTPS instead of HTTP. Here at Nimbus Hosting we have a number of SSL options to purchase depending on the type of site you are looking to secure, from a basic domain validated SSL all the way up to the Rolls Royce of SSL certificates that include your company name in the green bar. If you are using our STORM hosting platform you can also use Let’s Encrypt to generate free valid SSL certificates for your websites.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to give us a call on 0203 005 9180 or send us an email via [email protected]ting.co.uk.