Is Chrome Telling Your Customers Your Website Is Not Secure?

Are your customers being caught off guard?
Internet security is important to all of us. At least, it should be. And while we know that keeping your (or your customers’) data secure is probably near the top of your list, you may not be aware of the latest changes to browsers aimed at making the Internet safer for all users. These changes could affect how your customers perceive your business, especially if you’re marketing or selling online.

If you’ve ever found yourself checking a browser’s URL to see if the site you’re using is secure, you’ve likely noticed a lock icon in the address bar that tells you some sites are being served up over HTTPS – meaning they have a valid SSL certificate to protect any data being transmitted. But with Google’s January release of Chrome 56, any sites that accept credit card or password data without an SSL will display “Not Secure” in the address bar.

This is only the first step in a series of updates by Chrome to encourage websites to embrace HTTPS. Upcoming releases of Chrome will label any sites not using HTTPS as “Not Secure” if the user is browsing in incognito mode. And, eventually, Google plans on adding the “Not Secure” label to any site served up over standard HTTP, complete with a red warning flag.

What does this mean for your business? It means making the move to HTTPS if you want to avoid confusing your customers. As Chrome continues to roll out security warnings, visitors may believe these security messages mean your site has been compromised or has an underlying security issue that might affect, or worse, infect their machines if they continue browsing your site. There’s nothing like a big red warning flag to send potential customers running in the opposite direction.

If you’re using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to browse the web, you may be tempted to think this is no big deal, but browser statistics prove otherwise. Nearly 50% of people access the web using the Chrome browser. And over 77% of web searches are done through Google. Sites with HTTPS are already being given higher rankings in Google searches.

Utilizing HTTPS comes with multiple advantages, including protecting your site from third party injections and unwanted tracking cookies or ads. Without encryption, third parties can modify the content of your site before it’s delivered to the end user, turning into a costly clean up job and the potential for lost business.

If you’re ready to protect your investment in your online presence, we’re here to help. The use of HTTPS and SSL are not new to us – Spud Software has been providing companies with secure solutions for years. Just give us a call and take the first step toward protecting the security of your site.