Is Your Site Secure?
The Importance of a Secure Site
By Jeremy Ashburn
October 24, 2017
We recently took the plunge and made PushLeads secure. This means that whenever someone loads PushLeads.com in their internet browser, they’ll see a https://www.pushleads.com/ site instead a http://www.pushleads.com/ site. If you look at these two different URLS closely, you’ll notice that the first one has a HTTPS vs a HTTP in front of it. So what’s the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Why does it matter if you have a secure site? Read on to find out.
What is HTTPS?
Simply put, HTTPS is a more secure way to show web pages on the internet. Without getting to deep into the technical details, HTTPS is essentially a way to encrypt information that you send between a browser and a web server. HPTPS protects visitors on your site from “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where someone steals the information being sent to a website, like credit card information or logins. In the past, HTTPS connects were mostly used for sites that contain sensitive information (like ecommerce or government sites) but now more and more sites are making the switch to HTTPS.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate is a collection of data files on your server that create an encrypted connection between your internet browser and your server. You’ll know when you have your SSL Certificate is installed because you’ll see a green padlock installed on green padlock on your site when people visit it. This green padlock indicates that your site is secure.
Why Should You Make Your Site Secure?
There are many reasons why you’d want to make your site secure, but here’s three reasons:
1. Better Google Rankings
One of the biggest benefits you’ll experience is better rankings in Google, once you make your site secure. In 2014, Google introduced the idea of HTTPS Everywhere, indicating that websites who use SSL will get a search boost. Of course, when Google makes an announcement like this, you’d like that everyone would start doing HTTPS. However, outside of eCommerce sites, people have been slow to adapt. Things began to change in 2016 when Google updated their Chrome Browser to show sites that don’t use HTTPS as Unsure.
2. Improved Security
The reason why Google likes sites that have HTTPS is because they want their users to have the safest experience. Because HTTPS protects people and their information from hackers. You can see why keeping user’s information secure provides a better user experience.
3. Secure Browser Labels.
As part of their push to make the web more secure, Google is update their labels for HTTP sites. Right now, sites that aren’t secure show up with a circle Not Secure notification. If you visit a site like this and click on the Not Secure notification, you’ll get a Connection is Not Secure notification in red.
Eventually, Google is going to mark http sites with a red triangle with a “Not Secure” label written in red. While honestly, more people aren’t going to understand the difference between secure and not secure, they’ll probably feel a sense of unease when they see a red triangle warning. Making your site secure now ensures that they won’t see that warning and therefore feel more at ease when visiting your site.
4. More Conversions
While most people visiting a website don’t understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, they do want a site to be secure if they are giving out personal details because they feel safer with a secure site. Regardless if you have an eCommerce site or not, your visitors will feel safer if your site is secure. This article indicates HTTPS sites actually have a higher conversion rate. The article, written in 2014, explains that an online hotel booking site expereices a 30% increase in conversion rates after showing the SSL badge on their site.
If a user comes to your site and sees red warning labels indicating that your site isn’t secure, just the idea of entering a name, email, and phone number can cause them anxiety. Why do that? Making the site secure can eliminate that anxiety and possibly help increase conversions.
5. Increased Trust and Confidence
Trust is very important when you shift to HTTPS. Remember that the “S” in HTTPS stands for secure, that the data transferring between your site is sent through an encrypted connection. And actually, any site that users a secure certificates has a certificate that is cryptographically signed by a Certificate Authority (CA). This means that the site is, indeed secure and that all your visitors are in safe hands. A secure connection gives your visitors and customers peace of mind that the website can be trusted and their information is safe.
Obviously, better rankings, improved security, and increased trust are all reasons why you should consider making your website secure. Greater trust and more security will give your business more authority and a better reputation. We encourage you to take steps today to make your site more secure.