What You Need to Know About Switching to HTTPS Web Protocol

httpsYou may have noticed recently that web browsers have been labeling certain sites as insecure. Maybe your own website has a security warning in front of the URL. If you haven’t seen these security warnings in your browser yet, you will.

It’s happening in all browsers but especially in Google Chrome. The warnings target websites with traditional HTTP web protocol, which is now widely considered to be lacking in security measures.

The Importance of a Secure Site

Google has made it abundantly clear that the web of the future will be encrypted. The messages you’re seeing are only the first phase of a unilateral shift to HTTPS. Soon, all non-HTTPS pages will be clearly labeled as insecure.

If your site is labeled unsecure, website visitors may be hesitant to make a purchase or submit personal information. They may be hesitant to trust your company. In fact, 84% of people would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an unsecure connection.

Given recent changes in security preferences by browsers and search engines, it’s becoming increasingly important to switch your site to HTTPS so that lead generation doesn’t suffer.

httpsWhat is HTTPS Anyway?

Basically, HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a web protocol that makes your site safer. More specifically, it provides extra protection and security to any data submitted on your site. This data may include credit card information, personal information or anything else a visitor may enter on your site.

HTTPS provides three main types of security:

  • Encryption: even if someone manages to intercept data on your site, they won’t be able to decipher it because it will be encrypted.
  • Data Integrity: data can’t be modified or corrupted without being detected
  • Authentication: protection against “man-in-the-middle attacks”, which is where a scammer tricks your customers into thinking they’re on your site, when they’re actually not.

Even if you don’t have technical chops, you can see why this kind of security is important. Unfortunately, HTTP does not offer this protection.

Is Switching to HTTPS a Major Project?

It depends on the size of your website, but generally, switching to HTTPS is not a major project. If you have a massive website, then you’re looking at a time-consuming project. But for a good webmaster on an average-sized website, there’s no reason a switch to HTTPS will be a major undertaking.

In practice, there are many different ways to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, but to avoid getting too technical, the most important thing to know is that at the end of the day, it is a domain switch.

Even though there’s only a one letter difference, you end up with a completely new domain, which can involve lots of redirects, making things more complicated. But it’s a domain that can better protect you and your customers.

Switching to HTTPS web protocol is important, especially if you collect a visitor’s personal information on your website. It shouldn’t be a major project for most companies to switch, and there are many benefits to switching to HTTPS.