Google SSL Update Happening Soon

   By: Brad Graham

Soon, Google is going to make the web a safer place. Well, not exactly, but they are going to let you know which sites are not secure.

On July 24th, 2018, the web giants are going to be marking sites without an SSL Certificate as "Not secure" with the release of Google Chrome 68. Here's an example of what that will look like:


 

Why the change?

SSL Certificates help protect you from cybercriminals. Hi-tech thieves look for unsecured websites that have vulnerabilities in their network. These criminals create advanced scripts designed to intercept and collect data as it is being transferred across the web.  An SSL Certificate encrypts the information that is being transmitted so if hackers captured it, your personal info would still be safe.

Google has been raising awareness of the importance of SSL certificates since 2014. They want users and website owners to think more about online security. And with an extensive number of websites that are still unencrypted (over two-thirds!), they want to beef up their efforts. They're hoping by making this change, the online world will spring into action - with website visitors letting site owners know they have a problem with the sites' they're visiting not being secure, by contacting them or simply not visiting those unsecured sites.

How popular is Google Chrome?

Short answer: very.

Since early 2012, Chrome has been the most popular browser, and for the past five years, it's not even been close. Currently, 79% of browsers used are Google Chrome. So when this change happens, most of your sites' visitors are going to notice if you're secure or not.

The wide use of Google Chrome on desktops and laptops is easy to spot and is a constant reminder of how many people rely on Chrome to guide them to safe, secure websites. One thing about Chrome that does not get as much attention, is how many people use it on mobile devices. If you didn't know, or in case you forgot, Google owns Android, and there are over 2 billion active Android devices in the world today. Android devices currently make up 55% of smartphones here in the U.S. and each one comes preloaded with Google Chrome.

What happens if I do not upgrade to an SSL?

This is a question we get every day. Most users want to visit a secure website and have peace of mind knowing that their credit card information or passwords will not be leaked. Most business owners are less than thrilled to pay for another expense on an update that could turn out to be nothing. Remember Y2K?

Unfortunately, users that do not upgrade to an SSL will see an immediate loss in traffic and over time the loss will continue to increase as Google processes signals from RankBrain. RankBrain is a Machine Learning Algorithm that analyzes different user signals to measure user satisfaction. (If you feel like we're talking about something from the Matrix, you are not that far off - the machines are actually learning.)  When someone performs a search, Google returns results it believes will meet the user's query. If a site is not secure and a user chooses not to click on that site, Google will begin to lower the score of the website and over time not show it in search results.

 

What can you do?

Fortunately, there are many options for obtaining an SSL. There are free and paid options available to you. Yet, purchasing and installing an SSL is often not enough. Make sure you force all your traffic to the secure version and change any file paths you may be using to https, as well.


Can BlueTone Media help?

Of course! If you give us the go ahead, for $200 we can set up your SSL before this major change takes place. Also, we'll force SSL so anyone visiting your site will see the secure version by default, change any file paths that may be insecure (as long as a secure version exists), and create an auto-renewal process so you'll continue to be secure.

Contact your Account Manager at 910.795.2280 to get going!

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