A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security technology that allows the visitors of your site to send you information safely. When people connect to your site, the information passes through a number of entities. An entity could be your Internet Service Provider or it could be the “free” wifi router at your favourite restaurant. When your site is not secure, anyone in between your visitors and your site could record or read the information. Using the restaurant example, it is also possible, that someone connected to the same “open” wifi router at the restaurant could access this information. And this does not have to be someone working at the restaurant. SSL prevents this by encrypting the data so that only the final recipient (that is, your site) can read it.
My users got nothing to hide
Up until now, most website owners only saw the need for a secured site when they were collecting sensitive information like credit card details and passwords. However, Google has been trying to “encourage” website owners to switch to secured sites by giving them preference in Google rankings. This has been going on for some time, but now Google is adopting a more “assertive” approach.
Enter Google Chrome 56
With the release of Google Chrome 56 earlier this month, Google is naming and shaming non secure websites by showing a “Not Secure” sign near the site address.
So far, it is only doing this to sites which have a password field or which ask for credit card details. However, future releases will be showing more pronounced version of the warning and it will start showing on all sites, whether they request passwords or not.
What can I do about it?
Talk to your web hosting provider about having a SSL Certificate installed for your website. Here at SavioSacco.com, we offer the ability (for those who ask for it) to have the sites that are hosted with us to also have a secure certificate. And this is how a secured site will look like in Google Chrome:
We also take care of setting up automatic redirections so that anyone reaching your site through an old unsecured bookmark will be automatically taken to the secure link.
More information about the subject can be found here.