Why does my website say NOT SECURE in Google Chrome?

You have finally finished the perfect website for your business. However, when you launch it, the browser bar comes up in red with the words ‘Not Secure’. What does this mean and how can you fix it? Read on to find out.

Why Does This Happen?

Basically, you are serving your website over HTTP. This is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the building blocks of every data communication on the internet. While once this was enough, Google has been pushing for universal encryption. This means they can flag any site on their internet browser which they feel does not encrypt their data securely.

As of October 2017, Google has started issuing security warnings to any website with an unsecured text field. It won’t be long before they extend this to cover any sites left using HTTP.

Why Do We Need Encryption?

Encryption helps to keep data safe on the internet. Any data passed along an encrypted line is considered safe as it has passed along what is called a secure connection.

Think of it as the sender writing out a message in code and sending it out. The person who receives then unravels the code and reads the message. No-one else can read the message except the two people it is sent between.

That is why encryption is so vital. Any information passed over the internet has the potential to be intercepted and put in the wrong hands. As soon as a business comes into contact with any sort of sensitive data, it must be encrypted and kept safe from hackers and other cybercriminals.

It is important to protect your own data; it is even more important the moment you are put in charge of someone else’s data.

I Don’t Collect Sensitive Data, Why am I Still Being Flagged?

Google is pushing for universal encryption and protection as an online standard. This means that everyone needs to be using at least a basic encryption software for all data and secure connections to keep everything safe. Even if you don’t handle sensitive data, you should be engaging in this standard.

Imagine that the internet is a street and your website is one of the houses. Just because you know there is nothing valuable inside doesn’t mean you won’t lock your front door at night. It’s the same principle with encryption. Everyone should make it a norm, not an option, to help collaborate on a safe, online browsing space for all.

How Do I Secure My Website?

To secure your website, you need an SSL certificate. This is the only way to do it as it will give you HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) which provides layers of security and ensures that the user is communicating with the website that they think they are.

When you have your SSL certificate, you need to install it on your website. You can’t just input an HTTPS login over an HTTP page, the entire website needs to be HTTPS. If you are unfamiliar with website design, contact a professional. They can install the certificate for you and will have you up and running with your ‘secure’ notification in no time.

You will then have a little bit of SEO leg-work to do, as you need to verify that all links and redirects to your website are HTTPS friendly.

If you need any help with web optimisation, The Media Octopus is here to help. We offer a range of services and are able to help with all sorts of enquires to get your business where it needs to be.

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About the Author: Emma Fletcher