Is your website safe? In our world of stolen identities and WikiLeaks, there’s a constant concern by website visitors over cybersecurity, but luckily an internet-wide push towards HTTPS is helping to make things safer.
By now (hopefully!) everyone knows to look for the “secure connection” lock icon in their browser before entering credit card numbers, personal data, or login information into a website. Savvy web browsers may have noticed that the lock icon accompanies an increasing number of websites featuring “HTTPS” URLs.
HTTPS refers to requests transmitted over a secure, encrypted channel. As Wired puts it, “visiting an HTTPS site rather than a regular old HTTP site protects you against an array of malicious activities, including site forgery and content alteration.”
More website owners than ever before are now making the investment to move over to HTTPS. If you’re still not sure about your own site, here are five good reasons to make the switch:
1. Assurance for Visitors
Even when your visitors aren’t entering secure information, there’s an added peace of mind to see the green padlock icon above your website. Regardless of how technically knowledgeable the user, it shows that their browser has verified the connection to your site as safe. You want visitors to your site to feel secure that their information isn’t being intercepted.
2. Data Security
Is there anything on your site that should only be visible after login? If so you’ll need more than just your login page secured. Once a user is logged in, others can eavesdrop on any unsecured pages visible to that user. Moving your site to full encryption will prevent hidden content from being intercepted.
3. Google Chrome
In their never-ending push for tighter security on the web, Google has announced that their Chrome browser will eventually mark all non-HTTPS pages with a red “Not secure” label. This is intended to deter users from using unsecured pages. Updating to an all-HTTPS website will prevent your website from being targeted by this message.
4. Webmaster Confidence
With an only partially secured website, someone is manually choosing which pages on the site need to be secured. This leaves the door open for human error, with the possibility of missing a page that should have been secured. Securing the entire site gives you confidence that nothing has been omitted.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Besides its plan to warn against HTTP sites, Google already uses HTTPS websites as a ranking signal for search results. While quality content, clean HTML code, and mobile-friendliness are the primary keys to giving you a better search rank, you want to be sure you’re doing everything you can to be at the top of the results. Switching to HTTPS could help give you that edge you’ve been looking for.
Zach Marks is a Senior Developer at Adage Technologies. Zach’s interests include internet security, the Episerver content management system, and 3D modeling (including this page’s graphic!).