Be SSL  Secure

SSL Security

Is your website secure?

Having a secure website for your business is essential.  Not only to safeguard yours and your customers data, but to reassure to visitors that your site is protected to browse and buy from.  Having SSL installed on your website is especially important now due to the changes in Google Chrome and Mozilla that are starting in 2018. If you do not have SSL on your website or have not updated recently, Google will deem your site untrustworthy.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is the commonly used name, however the most recent term for it is TLS meaning Transport Layer Security.  This technology protects your website from hackers trying to steal personal information. It establishes an encrypted link between a web server and browser and ensures all data between the two remains private. You may have noticed the HTTP:// or HTTPS:// as a prefix to a URL at the top of a web page. Ever wondered what that actually means? The HTTPS shows that the website you are on is protected by SSL, whilst HTTP means that it is not.  When there is SSL there is also usually a padlock next to the address bar which includes the company certificate with information available.

The importance of SSL

Online commerce and shopping is used more frequently now attracting cyber criminals to steal personal data and bank details. Those websites with HTTP are insecure and are more likely to be hacked as it is easier! If a website has not got any security then they can intercept data typed onto a site. When the website does have SSL it establishes an instant connection and scrambles the data so it cannot be read. SSL is not too difficult to buy and install and it is worth it in the long term.

If you have the option to buy a product on your website or forms to fill in then you should have SSL. SSL secures card transactions, file sharing, database connections, webmail services, the control panel, cloud based platforms and more.

It is best to have SSL across the whole website, whether a form or payment process is on each page or not, as there are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits!  Google has confirmed that SSL is now part of their search ranking algorithm.  If your website has SSL then that puts it at a higher ranking to those that do not! This means better visibility for your business and more visitors to your website.

Approximately 85% of people will not continue browsing if the website shows it is not secure. A visitor or customer to your website will trust you and the site easily and instantly if they see there is HTTPS in the URL and a padlock. Certificates prove the website is authentic and official and people feel safer on your site. Having no security could deter people and potentially lose business!

Having SSL is especially important now as Google Chrome is becoming stricter on unsecure sites. In new updates in 2018 there will be a harsh ranking of websites with just HTTP.  It also applies to some with SSL already, so yours may need to be updated.

logo, branding, graphic design, business identity

Changes in 2018

Google will distrust all existing Symantec SSL certificates issued by their old infrastructure starting from March 2018. Owners of web pages with just HTTP will be marked as not secure in the new Google Chrome update.  Chrome has around 47% of the browser market so when their new update is released, a significant number of websites will be affected immediately.  Google Chrome have already done something similar in early 2017 when they checked that any websites collecting sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers had SSL. Now they will be looking at all websites!

So, why are these changes happening? There had been a concern for sometime about Symantec, leading Google Chrome to lose confidence in them and they formed an investigation. Symantec were found to have entrusted several organisations with the ability to issue certificates without the appropriate guidelines and had been aware of security issues with those organisations. Symantec also bought other companies called GeoTrust, Thawte and RapidSSL and were added to Symantec’s trusted certificate issuers. These are now also deemed untrustworthy, so users will have to request a new SSL to still be seen as secure to Google Chrome and to keep their SSL.

A SSL is issued by a known and credible Certificate issuer called a Certificate Authority (CA). After Symantec had been discovered selling SSL certificates from unknown issuers and not from a trusted CA, Symantec will now have to rebuild their entire certificate infrastructure from scratch if it wants to remain in the CA business. They have now instructed DigiCert to work on behalf of them until they build a new infrastructure as was the agreement with Google. DigiCert will be authenticating any certificates separately from other Symantec issuers and if approved will be instantly reissued.

The new process starts with Chrome 66, which is to be released to Chrome Beta users in March 2018 and to Chrome Stable users around April 2018. These updates will remove the trust in Symantec issued SSL certificates that were given before June 2016. For your SSL to still be valid and seen as trustworthy for Chrome 66 it must have been bought after 1 June 2016 or from another trusted Certificate Authority issuer that Chrome trusts. However, if your SSL is fine for Chrome 66 then it will need a new certificate for when the new Chrome 70 is released in October 2018. This other update from Chrome fully removes any trust in Symantec’s old infrastructure and all certificates it issued as well as from issuers Symantec trusted – unless they were independently operated and disclosed to Google previously.

Mozilla have also confirmed that it intends to follow the same timeline Google have created and are working with Google to make the transition as easy as possible.

5 reasons to make sure your site has SSL.

1, Look more professional.
2, Increase visitor loyalty to your site.
3, Attract more customers and make more sales.
4, To protect your own information.
5, To protect your customers.

Ensure you are SSL secure!

Website security is becoming increasingly important and now with the Google Chrome and Mozilla changes, it is essential to ensure your business website is seen as secure. Has this post made you think about how much security there is on your site? Are you worried you have not got an SSL certificate or do not know if it is updated ready for the changes ahead? When we build a website for you we can arrange the SSL security and with existing websites I can help determine what security you have and if you need to update or add it. Any questions or concerns – contact us and we can help!

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