Website Security Basics: How to Protect Customer Information with HTTPS

Last updated on Sept 8, 2022.

Security is never a top priority for businesses until they lost all their website data and online revenue overnight.

You type your website into the address bar in your browser. You hit “ENTER” on your keyboard. You look up at the URL and right next to it are two words that you see – “Not Secure”.

Going back from 2019, secure websites are not only key for building trust with site visitors, but they can also rank higher on Google. Google announced back in August, 2014 that SSL was now a small ranking factor in their algorithm.

What Is “HTTP” vs “HTTPS”?

Before we talk about how you can fix this “Not Secure” issue, let’s talk about exactly what it means. Without getting overly technical, a “Not Secure” warning means that your website is using “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS”. In simple, these protocols are how information is passed back and forth between your computer and the website server.

The “S” in “HTTPS” means that the SSL encryption is enabled which helps encrypt and protect data passed back and forth between your machine and the web server. Basically, if your website is not secured, it’s easier for people to gain access to sensitive information shared across HTTP like credit card data, passwords, medical information, and literally anything sent between your browser and the web server.

“Not Secure” doesn’t necessarily mean that your website has been hacked or that you’ve a virus on there but it tells a user not to trust the site with their information. And that can be a big problem for most businessess.

Imagine how customers would feel if you’ve hung a sign outside your brick and mortar location and that said “Not Secure” in big, bold letters. You’ve giving off the same “Not Secure” vibe on your website if you’re asking for personal information or sensitive data while still using “HTTP”. If people think their information is at risk, they’re going to head away form your website as quickly as possible and check out a competitor’s website that’s properly secured.

How Do You Know If Your Website Isn’t Secure?

So, if your website is showing up as “Not Secure”, you either need to purchase and install an SSL certificate or fix one that is incorrectly installed on your website. A quick way to check this is to use the website – WhyNoPadlock.

This free tool helps troubleshoot if your site has an SSL certificate and if so, if it is installed correctly. A common question we get is do all sites need an SSL certificate? We definitely recommend it for any site with a shopping cart but also for sites with contact form, user-generated content, login-functionality — basically 99% of sites out there need an SSL certificate.

The answer is almost always “Yes”. Here are 7 website security tips to help secure your website and data.

As more of the web moves over to “HTTPS”, you don’t want to be left behind when it comes to someting really important to users like security. As Google has already started to use SSL as a ranking factor, so you’re not just forming a trusted relationship with consumers who visit your website, you’re also helping your website stand out in search engines. Google’s is pushing for the entire web to move over to HTTPS, so is something you want to prioritize and take action on soon.

Design Start Can Help You Secure Your Website With SSL Certificate.

Ready to start securing your site with SSL certificate, but not sure where to start? Design Start can help!

To get started with us, contact us online today!