If your website collects any information (newsletter signup, contact form, donation pages, login, etc.), then now’s the time to get an SSL. Starting next month (October 2017), Google Chrome will start flagging websites with any text input fields as NOT SECURE unless they have an active SSL certificate and use https://. This is part of Google’s Next Steps Towards More Connection Security, a sentiment echoed by many tech companies in an effort to improve the currently abysmal state of security and privacy throughout the internet.
Something that was thought of as necessary for only banking and government websites, an SSL (often depicted by a green padlock and/or https:// in the browser) is “an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site” (Google Search Console Help). Put very simply, it means that data sent between you and the website are encrypted so that third parties cannot read it.
The way we’ve always explained SSL has been simple: if your website collects information that you wouldn’t feel comfortable yelling across the room in a coffee shop, it should have an SSL. Credit card? No way. Username and password? Nope. Everything you’re searching for? Probably not.
In addition, adding an SSL also benefits your website’s search engine rankings and is a huge factor in increasing conversions for online sales and transactions. In fact, according to a GlobalSign report, 84% would abandon a purchase if they knew the data was going to be sent over an insecure connection.
Luckily, SSL certificates are more affordable and accessible than ever. Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates and has some great resources on installing them on your server. Qualys’ SSL Labs provides a free online service to test a website’s SSL certificates. Cloudflare also has many options on implementing SSLs for websites using their service.
At Evergreen, we are doing our part as well. Starting today and running until the end of the year, we are offering installation and configuration of SSL certificates at discounted rates. We can help you assess your needs and pick the right service and certificate for your website. If your website has any forms, whether it’s for a credit card, email address, contact information, or login, you have until October to implement an SSL or be marked NOT SECURE.
Help, My Website is Not Secure!