Most people know that Google’s long-term goal is a more secure web. To that end, Google has recently announced its plan, within Chrome, to encourage webmasters and site owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Beginning in October, the Chrome browser will contain a warning message on pages with search boxes or forms to fill out.
But first, what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?
HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. That is the protocol that allows you to communicate with websites. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. The added “S” means that any information you provide there is encrypted, and cannot be stolen. This protects your credit card information, your password, your social security number, and any other personal information.
HTTPS on the Rise
In 2014, it was estimated that less than one percent of sites used HTTPS. By 2016, that number had grown to slightly more than 30 percent. That’s because Google made HTTPS part of their ranking material.
In earlier editions of Chrome, certain symbols indicated a site’s level of security. These symbols included:
- A green lock
- A yellow warning triangle
- A lock with a red X
In Chrome’s latest update – Chrome 56 – an HTTP site is marked with a neutral icon. Clicking on that icon gives you a dropdown box that says, “Your connection to this site is not fully secure.” But in January of this year, Google started placing more accurate icons in the address bar:
- Secure sites are now marked with a green lock and the word “Secure”
- Unsecured sites have the same neutral icon, but with the words “Not Secure” next to it
In the near future, the neutral icon on unsecured sites will change to a red triangle with the words “Not Secure.” Modifying the Google Chrome security warning better engages the brain, which is hardwired to notice things that are different or threatening.
If your site is not HTTPS yet, it might be wise to start making the move. Doing so will offer a more secure climate for your viewers, and better search engine optimization (SEO) for you. We can help you with that! As a boutique digital marketing firm, Premier Legal Marketing (PLM) offers the best in personalized service. Call us today at 856-448-4736 or contact us online to learn more about PLM’s internet marketing services for lawyers.