Important changes in how Google Chrome and other Internet browsers will interact with your website

There are changes happening to enhance security to the Internet that will affect how Google, the other search engines, and the various web browsers will treat websites–including yours.

Starting in October 2017, the new release of Google Chrome (version 62) will begin showing a “Not secure” warning in the browser address bar on web pages where users enter text into a form for all non-encrypted websites. This includes, but is not limited to pages with search bars, contact forms, and login pages. This is a step towards the master plan for eventually labeling all non-encrypted (HTTP in the address line) websites / web pages, as “Not secure”.

Below is an example of how Chrome 62 will label web pages.

 

Google Chrome (ver 62) Not Secure warning example

Source: Google Security Blog

 

Will my website be labeled “Not secure”?

The answer is yes if, as mentioned earlier, your website includes text input fields such as search bars, contact forms, or login panels including WordPress login.

This is not desirable, of course, because it will undoubtedly discourage some of your audience from using your site. The solution is to add encryption software by installing what is known as a Security or SSL Certificate to the website. The address line of the website will then begin with HTTPS: (like you see commonly on e-commerce sites) instead of HTTP.

The Process

  1. We obtain an SSL certificate for you: There are a few choices (levels of security) based on the sophistication of the website. We will make a recommendation.
  2. Install the certificate: We will install the certificate for your website and manage the entire transition process.
  3. Website Review: Once the SSL Certificate is installed, we will review all pages and custom programming for your website to ensure total transition to HTTPS.
  4. Web Updates: Some websites may need some updated programming and we will notify you if that is the case.

The Cost

We recommend Comodo certificates (a reputable source) and for most websites the cost will fall into the $25-$35 price range (certificate renewed annually). Installation and some updating to your site coding may be necessary so we will quote you on those services.

What’s the next step?

Simply let us know you want to investigate adding SSL either by calling (802) 755-1222 or contacting us here. We will review your site and send a proposed plan.

 

Do I have to switch to HTTPS?

No, but we do highly recommend it to keep your site “friendly”. It’s also a step in the right direction to improve security regarding data/information transfers in general as the internet evolves. Adding it after the fact to an older website might seem inconvenient or an unnecessary expense, but then try to buy a new car without seat belts. We don’t have any choice and the benefit is clear. That said, it might not have been a bad idea to encrypt web sites from the very beginning, but who knew we would face the intensity of people with ill intentions, trying to abuse and illicitly profit from this otherwise hugely beneficial system to share information around the world? Going forward it will be a simple routine to build SSL security into all website development.