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Take action to avoid your website being labelled ‘Not Secure’

Your site will display as “Not Secure” in Google Chrome from next month unless you take action, warns CodePotato’s Gareth Thompson

As of next month (July) Google Chrome will change the way it displays whether a site uses an encrypted connection (SSL) or not. If you want to stop your site from being marked as “not secure”, you only have a few weeks.

At the moment, Google Chrome shows a green “Secure” next to the web address for sites that use SSL. This will change from July as Google Chrome will stop showing the words “Secure” and instead revert to showing “Not Secure” on any sites that don’t use SSL. Eventually they plan on showing “Not Secure” in red, to make it more prominent to a visitor so it’s really in your interest to get SSL configured on your site.

Why should you care?

Good question! In short, if your site collects any information or contains any contact forms you SHOULD use SSL on your site to provide encryption between your visitor and your web server. It’s also a matter of trust. Do you really want visitors of the world’s most popular web browser to be shown that your site is “Not Secure”? If you have an advice-led business this certainly won’t help with confidence.

For the more technical of you, an encrypted connection ensures that no-one can intercept the information being submitted to your site / server; something that can be easily intercepted on a non-encrypted site.

As a handy guide, here’s a little checklist to see if you need to get your site hooked up with SSL. If you answer yes to any of these points, you need SSL:

✅Does your website contain a contact form where a visitor can enter their name, or personal details?

✅Is it important for visitors to trust your website / business? E.g. Is the site for your business / brand?

✅Does your website allow people to download files / guides / literature?

How do I get setup with SSL?

This all boils down to how awesome your web hosting / web agency is.

If you look after your own hosting, pop into your control panel and look for a button labelled “Lets Encrypt”. Lets Encrypt have pioneered free SSL certificates and have a super-simple process for registering and renewing certificates automagically.

If you don’t look after your own hosting or don’t quite know where to start, don’t fret. If you have a relationship with a web agency give them a buzz first to see if they can get it setup for you.

A note of advice – asking for SSL to be setup on your site should not result in a hefty bill from your web agency. In reality, if the hosting platform your web agency uses has a hook-up with Lets Encrypt it’ll take someone at the web agency minutes to get you protected. That said, if there isn’t a hook-up with LetsEncrypt your options could be to move your hosting to a platform that does, or pay for a certificate through another provider (typically £100 a year).

If you would like a hand getting setup with SSL, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll gladly help you get up and running.

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