What is HTTPS?

The internet standards for secure website connections are evolving, and if you’re not keeping up, it could hurt business. If you pay attention to the addresses of the websites you visit, you’ll notice that some will begin with “http://…”, and most will begin with https://…”. That “S” stands for secure.

A standard HTTP connection communicates in plain text. This means that anyone who breaks the connection between your browser and the website can read information being communicated (credit card numbers, passwords, etc…). With an SSL certificate, an HTTPS connection will encrypt that data so that no one can read or decrypt the information if intercepted.

When you are securely connected to a website, you will see a variation of a green padlock icon next to the web address. When you click on it, you can verify the details as shown below:

Screenshot of "Secure" indication in Google Chrome web browser.

So What’s Changing?

Google has announced that its Chrome browser will now assume HTTPS as the standard connection for all websites. Users should expect that their connection is secure. Google has already begun phasing in this change, and it will be fully established in September or October of 2018.

What Does This Mean?

First, instead of reading “Secure” in all green letters next to a website URL as shown above, a simple grey padlock icon will be displayed for secure connections. Second, the browser will start displaying a bold “Not secure” message next to the URL of websites that do not possess an SSL certificate.

If you’re receiving personal information from users through your website, you need to have an SSL certificate to protect their information. Today, most of your user base will not provide personal information to websites that do not have a secure connection.

If your website doesn’t possess an SSL certificate by this time, that “Not secure” message could turn people away from your site and hurt your business. People might garner a bad image of your company if they notice that you’re not using a secure connection on your website.

How Do I Get an SSL Certificate?

Most website hosting services offer SSL certificates, and most certificates run on quarterly or annual fees. Once you’ve purchased a certificate, it needs to be installed on your site and your site needs to be updated.

We’re here to keep your website running smooth, and can help you acquire, install, and maintain an SSL certificate for your website. If you would like a quote for that service, please request it via the contact form on our website.