HTTPS, or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and website. The ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’ and it means that any communications between your website and browser are encrypted. While it is commonly used to protect confidential online transactions (e.g. purchasing and online banking), HTTPS is a good idea on just about any site in which you would like to guard the privacy of your users.
So, do you currently secure your website using HTTPS? If not, don’t feel too bad. Even most top websites don’t. At least, until this month when big change in Chrome is likely to give you a little added incentive.
In an effort to increase data security, Google has announced that starting in October 2017, users who are using the Chrome browser and enter text in a form on an HTTP page (even if it’s in Incognito mode) will get a “NOT SECURE” warning. For the moment, this mainly includes sites where users are required to enter a password or credit card information. However, Google has indicated that they will eventually roll out the change to all HTTP sites.
So, if you’ve been considering making the move to HTTPS, now would be a great time (at least if you want to avoid the possibility of scaring away users with a “NOT SECURE” warning). Instructions can be found here.
As Google points out, now is the time to move to HTTPS: it’s easier and cheaper than ever before and it’s the future of the web. Not only will HTTPS preserve your site’s integrity, it also serves as a strong trust signal to your site visitors. Even if this change doesn’t directly and immediately affect your site, we recommend that you make the move sooner rather than later. After all, Google Chrome is the most popular web browser with over 1 billion users.
Marian Visonà is Director of Analytics and SEM who loves data and likes to keep up to date with the latest digital trends. When she’s not preparing reports and spreadsheets, she’s out analyzing the KPIs of various Providence eateries. In food and performance optimization, testing is key!