Google recently announced that Chrome 68 will be released in early July of 2018. An important feature of this update is Chrome will be marking all HTTP sites as “not secure”. With current Chrome browsers, Google highlights that an HTTPS site is secure, but does not necessarily highlight that an HTTP site is not secure. This update is designed to push sites to adopt an HTTPS encryption and create a secure user experience for Google users.
Is your site secure? If so, great! Your company is ready for this update and will continue to provide its users with the best experience. No? No worries, you still have time to take the steps necessary to secure your site!
What Does HTTPS Mean?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secured version of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTPS ensures that the code is exchanged between the server and the browser cannot be read, keeping information safe from hackers. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology that is used to encrypt this link between web servers and a browser.
Why Should I Switch My Site to HTTPS?
If you collect data from users, HTTPS provides 3 layers of protection for your users; encryption, data integrity, and authentication. HTTPS encrypts the data, preventing anyone else from tracking the data and stealing information. Data integrity ensures that the data cannot be changed or corrupted without detection. Authentication provides confirmation that the users communicate with the proper website and prevents anyone from intercepting the communication.
In addition, Google gives secure sites a ranking boost within search results. To maintain up to date SEO it is essential to have an HTTPS site. Security is becoming imperative as the internet grows. Over 68% of the total traffic on Android and Windows and 78% of total traffic on Chrome Os and Mac is currently protected and continues to increase.
What You Need to Upgrade to HTTPS:
- There are multiple ways you can update your site to HTTPS. If you decide to update your site on your own, you will need to complete the following steps.
- Read the documentation regarding your server.
- Purchase a security certificate.
- Install the security certificate on the server.
- Update references in content. You can use a search and replace in the database to update all internal links to use HTTPS.
- Update references in templates.
- Make sure canonical tags have been updated. Most CMS systems will automatically make this change.
- Ensure that any plugins/modules/add-ons are working properly and make sure that nothing contains insecure content.
- Crawl your site. This will ensure that everything is secured and working properly.
- Update redirects.
- Update the sitemap to reflect to HTTPS URLs.
- Go live!
- Make sure to monitor your site after you go live to make sure all changes are successful.
Google – A Secure Web is Here To Stay
Search Engine Journal – Google Sets HTTPS Deadline
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