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As more and more data is shared online, the need for website security continues to grow substantially. Later this year, Google will be releasing Chrome 68, a browser which will notify users instantly of the security of a website they’re visiting. 

What does that mean for you? I’m so glad you asked.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are standard for encrypting data sent between a browser and a server, ensuring the data remains private during its transmission. An SSL Certificate encrypts sensitive information entered by an internet user and securely sends that information to the server where it is then decrypted. Without this vital security measure information travels freely across the internet and is susceptible to interception and theft.

In the past, SSL Certificates were recommended for sites on which users entered sensitive information like usernames and passwords, social security information or credit card numbers. However, Google and other search engines are now encouraging any website with any kind of text field to have an SSL certificate.

How does this affect users?

SSLs do not play a role in the security of browsing. They only pertain to the security of data sharing. If you opt to share records, credit card numbers, addresses, or any other personal information–you will want to make sure the site you’re sharing with has an SSL. However, if you’re just browsing for information, your online security will be determined by your own security software and the sites you’re visiting.

How does this affect business owners or websites?

In addition to being aware of your liability when requesting sensitive information from customers, this may also affect your search ranking. Google will also begin to effectively “punish” sites that without SSL Certificates by lowering their rank in searches. But don’t worry–it won’t happen overnight. Here’s what you need to know:

How do I know a site I visit is secure?

Look at the address bar on your browser; websites that have a lock icon or simply say “secure” will safeguard your private information.

Alternatively, unsecure sites will display the forthcoming message “not secure;” and some may display a warning symbol to alert you that a site is not secure. 

You can also check the web address. If it begins with “http://” it is not secure. However, an “https://” it is. (The “s” stands for secure.)

When do I need to update my security?

Google will unveil Chrome version 68 in July. All websites without SSL certificates will be downgraded on the engine’s search results and all plain HTTP websites will be flagged as insecure.

Unsure how to go about getting an SSL for your website? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Contact us today.

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