First thing, DON’T PANIC! Owning a website and hoping for the absolute best response from it is an ideal desire. So, seeing a Not Secure warning (from Google) can be a huge cause for concern but the good news is that there is a quick fix.
In this article we will share what causes the “Not secure” warning (from Google) on your website, how to fix it and explore ways to move forward in having a secure connection.
What causes a “Not secure” warning?
The answer lies within the construct of the internet language Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This language is responsible for the transfer of data between websites and servers. With most browsers a “not secure” warning (from Google) will be displayed in the address bar if a website is HTTP versus HTTPS.
The difference is the “S” for Secure.
HTTP comes with a security fault. Data security vulnerability exists and password and credit card information can be easily intercepted over the unsecure HTTP channel. This is because across HTTP, these transfers can be seen by anyone.
Why is HTTPS important for your website?
The secure version of HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS employs the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates for encryption in the data transfer process.
Unlike HTTP, websites with HTTPS show a “Connection is secure” to visitors guaranteeing a safe web surfing experience.
Browsers such as Firefox and Chrome give a warning to web visitors who visit HTTP sites.
However, with SSL certificates which trigger HTTPS, website owners are protected from identity theft, spear phishing and online threats. This is possible through HTTPS end-to-end encryption during file transfers.
Your site needs to be trusted
Vitally important to your visitors is trust. Websites that do not provide measures to protect users in their web experience can lose the trust of their visitors. This eventually will cause harm to your website’s main goals. There needs to be a sense of security with even the average web user. In fact, if they do not feel safe while visiting your website, convincing them to purchase your products may be difficult and equally to share their personal data.
How HTTPS impact web features
There are some features on the internet that are restricted to HTTPS. For example, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) by Google generates a simple version of the site’s pages thus making it easier to load on mobile devices. With AMP, it is a requirement that your site uses HTTPS.
In addition, there are some features on browsers that will not work if persons are not connecting to a site with HTTPS. Some include web payments, Bluetooth for web, push notifications and geo-location. Equally, other setbacks can occur.
Poor SEO ranking
When Google ranks your website, one factor used in this process is HTTPS. According to Google, this action is geared at making the internet safer and more secure for users.
The visitors to your website may be blocked by browsers such as Chrome if HTTPS is not present.
High bounce rate
When visitors to your website see a “Not secure” warning (from Google) having entered your website on the net, most of them will tend to leave.
Low web traffic
With a low Google ranking, it is simply automatic that the traffic to your website will be low.
Three Steps to make my website secure
1. Get a SSL certificate
Securing your website will require that you install a SSL certificate. With this certificate, your website will now be HTTPS vs HTTP. Why? Well a SSL certificate is a digital credential that verifies your website on the net by attaching to your website a cryptographic key. With this key, data transfers to and from your website will be encrypted and decrypted therefore providing the measures necessary for security.
To acquire a SSL certificate you will have to request one from the Certificates Authorities or in some cases you will need to check your web hosting provider’s website for the details as some provide this procedure automatically.
2. Update your URL
When the installation of your SSL certificate is complete and your URL is set to HTTPS, you will need to inform Google that your site is now set to secure. With this, Google can update your website’s information to reflect this change in search results.
You can easily do this by visiting Google Search Console.
3. Change Internal and External links
At this stage your website is visible on the net as a secure website with HTTPS and visitors are no longer getting a “Not secure” warning (from Google). It is now safe to say you are on your final lap hence some cleaning up is needed. You will need to check your website and change all the internal links to HTTPS. This may become tedious but well worth it in the end.
After completely updating all the internal links of your site, as best as it is in your ability, update all external links as well. All links such as those for social media, newsletters etc. should be HTTPS.
For more website security tips check out this blog.
Summary and Wrap up
Getting rid of a “Not secure” warning (from Google) on your website is paramount to your online success. Individuals are more akin to trust and do business with a website that has a SSL certificate because this simply means the website is secure.
Choosing to have a HTTPS website will aid you in generating more traffic to your website, boost your SEO ranking and allow your visitors to access all the web features they need. It ultimately allows you to benefit from their visit and foster future ones.
Hopefully after going through this article, you are now more aware of how important having a secure website is. More importantly, we hope you’re fully aware of how to get rid of a “Not secure” warning so your website can experience its best potential.