Article as seen in the Socially Inclined Magazine. Sign up to receive the monthly magazine free each month here http://get.sociallyinclined.com/magazine
Internet security is an ongoing game of cat and mouse. Web designers, programmers, and developers are always working to stay a step ahead of the scam artists and hackers whose intention it is to spoof websites, steal identities, and reveal hacked information online. Search giant Google is at the forefront of the battle, and they are introducing some big changes for their Chrome browser starting in January 2017.
As a local business owner, you can’t afford to ignore changes in online security because they have a direct impact on your business. With that in mind, let’s explore the upcoming changes so you know what to expect – and how it will affect your business in the coming year.
Why Web Security Matters
Online security is more important than ever before. It seems like hardly a month goes by without news of a new security breach. Email providers, banks, and retail outlets have all been victimized. These breaches are costly to everybody involved. The institutions whose security is compromised take a hit to their reputations, customers are at risk of having their credit cards used by thieves, and financial institutions have to issue new cards.
How Customers Know Your Site is Secure
The sites that are safest to use are those that display https:// before their URLs. Sites that are not secured are usually preceded just by http://. Savvy consumers know that it is best not to hand out their credit card information – or any other personal information that might enable a thief to steal their identity, such as a full name, their mother’s maiden name, and so on – on a site that lacks the https:// prefix.
How Google Chrome is Changing
At present, Google Chrome uses a relatively subtle designation to let their customers know whether a site is secure. On any site that uses the https:// prefix, Chrome puts the prefix in green and displays a little lock icon next to it.
Google has announced changes because they fear that the current designation is too low-key to be effective. Starting in January of 2017, their new display will feature the words “Not secure” before the URLs of sites starting with http://. They conducted a study that showed that customers were not perceiving the lack of a green lock as a warning that the site was not secure.
The “not secure” label is only the first step in their efforts to protect their users. Future updates will add the new warning to incognito browsing, and eventually the plan is to display a prominent red triangle as a warning.
Why should does this matter? Because 71% of all local searches on Google’s are done through the Chrome browser and that means that a large percentage of your online traffic will be discouraged from clicking on your website.
The Difference between Secure and Non-Secure Sites
While secure sites offer obvious benefits to your customers when it comes to the security of their credit cards and other personal information, there are some other benefits to changing your site.
How to Update Your Site
Now let’s walk through the steps you need to take to obtain the SSL certificate and add it to your site.
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