As of 7-1-18, Google’s new browser - Chrome 68 version - significantly changed the focus on website security by marking all HTTP webpages “not secure.” This “without HTTPS” reference implies that now any HTTP page without a valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, is not end-to-end encrypted and is likely lowering your security levels.
Adding an SSL certificate to your website authenticates it by encrypting all information exchanged between a user and the site, thus protecting it from theft and misuse. Chrome is the first major browser to explicitly mark websites without HTTPS as ‘unsafe’; previous versions had only warned of ‘missing SSL’ certificates on login pages or when entering banking/sensitive data.
What this means for you is that all Web browsers must now have a secure HTTPS connection. Since browsers have begun posting warnings and restricting features on sites that haven’t upgraded, the way of preventing damage to your brand or reduced conversion rates, is to get the SSL certificate for your website.
Why the Change?
Major browser vendors (Mozilla, Google, Apple) have been making changes to their browsers and encouraging HTTPS use and discouraging using HTTP. Making this “safety a standard” surmises that people have greater peace of mind when surfing the Internet and avoid remaining a target for online bad guys, as well as susceptible to unwanted poop-up ads.
In January 2017, Google’ Chrome 56 was released. It began applying warnings to websites that process sensitive data via unencrypted connections. The layer of protection seen with Chrome 68 offers users better informed on security threats while receiving improved protection from phishing attacks. And, Chrome 68 offers users a strong sense of safety when they use the Internet for transactions and browsing.
Chrome 68 Effects
If your website is already running with a secured HTTPS, then nothing will change for you. But, if your website is not secured with an SSL certificate - or if some pages are but others aren’t - visitors will receive an “insecure connection” warning message when trying to access the affected pages on a Chrome 68 browser.
Having any of your pages produce this warning sign implies an immediate red flag for most users. A 2014 survey found that 85 percent of online shoppers feel deterred by unencrypted websites. Even if your website is not an e-commerce site, having unsecure pages in your website affects your SEO ranking. No getting around it. Interestingly, Google’s encouragement of HTTPS security indicates that their algorithms actively promote HTTPS webpages in their search rank results and lowers those without the appropriate SSL certificate.
Website Encryption Advantages
Smoother user experience builds greater trust levels too. Adding an SSL certificate means that you are adding a layer of encryption and page authenticity which, in turn, protects your users’ data. This security layer affords you added protection from invasions from third parties, including Wi-Fi hotspots or other unsecure connections. And, you can no longer ignore the increasing new web technologies and browser features/plugins that dictate HTTPS to function.
HQZ Experts Helps You Manage A Chrome 68 Upgrade
We evaluate your website host and protocol, and work with you to transition. It requires a purchase of an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol certificate or a TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol certificate, both of which are very inexpensive. No hardware is required. If your website already has certificates for some pages but not all, we can help with this set up as well. We also recommend that you check all third-party services you employ (advertising, analytics services, etc.) to ensure that their HTTPS is compatible to avoid any issues.