In January, 2017 Google made a change to the Chrome web browser (version 56) that I think is one of the biggest changes to the Internet since it began. If your website isn't HTTPS compliant an ugly and disturbing "Not secure" message will show beside your domain name. Here's what will show if your Google Chrome web browser is version 56 or later:
Eventually Google will bold it and change its colour to red which you definitely don't want:
Here's what will show if you have an earlier version of Google Chrome:
Here's what will show if your website is HTTPS compliant:
Check out how Spinning Planet's website shows as secure here: https://www.spinningplanet.co.nz/
Why is Google doing this?
Google wants the Internet to be as secure as possible so by making this change it will force all websites to upgrade to SSL encryption to protect internet users. It's a good idea but it will prove to be a hassle for companies that make websites because now they will need to upgrade their systems to be HTTPS compliant which will take time and money.
Why is Google doing it now?
Previously to make this change could literally cost hundreds of dollars each year for each website because they'd have to renew security certificates from places like www.verisign.com and they'd also need to get a separate IP address for each website which in some cases isn't possible. However, now that new security protocols have come into place and you can now get free security certificates from places like www.letsencrypt.com so there's no reason why every website on the Internet can't be HTTPS compliant.
What are the benefits of upgrading to HTTPS?
- All data from your computer to the website is encrypted so it's less likely that someone can find out what your username or password is when logging into a website.
- If the website isn't HTTPS compliant baddies on your network can look at or modify the site before it gets to you. This weakness can be used to inject malware into the unencrypted web page and infect your computer.
- Google has stated that it gives higher rankings to sites that are HTTPS compliant which will help you get found when people are searching for your type of business.
- Your business will gain more trust from customers.
What is Spinning Planet doing about it?
We've made it so any new website we build will be HTTPS compliant. For clients with older websites with us we're charging a one-off flat fee to convert them to be HTTPS for just $140. The reason we're doing this is because eventually all of our clients will have to upgrade so we want it to be as easy as possible for them to do so. Though it may cost us more to do the upgrade we don't mind the extra expense because this is something that our clients need to do.