SSL Certificates – Get Ready For Google’s Latest Security Update

Is your website ready for the latest Google security update? As part of a Google initiative to help users browse the web safely, the latest update to the Google Chrome browser will begin marking many websites ‘not secure’.

By the end of October a website that contains any kind of text input – such as a contact form, quote form or search box will be required to have a valid SSL Certificate. Without it, any users who visit your website using the Google Chrome browser will be warned that your pages are not secure.

Once an SSL certificate is applied your website address will begin “https://” rather than the standard “http://”, with the result being you prevent visitors to your website seeing the following:

ssl certificate not secure

What’s an SSL Certificate and why does my website need one?

SSL is an abbreviation of the term ‘secure sockets layer’, which when applied will create an encrypted connection between your website and its hosting server. The encryption will ensure that any data that passes between them (such as a contact form submission) is secure.

Previously webmasters were only required to introduce an SSL certificate for websites that gathered sensitive information such as payment details and passwords. However, Google are about to introduce a new level of web security which effects any website that contains any kind of text input – such as your contact and enquiry forms.

Without making the move to introduce an SSL certificate, many webmasters are worried that there will be a serious reduction in customer enquiries. A reduced level of trust in your website could also result in potential customers choosing to avoid your website.

In May 2018 The Law Is Changing

From 25th May 2018, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force. The new regulations are complex but include clear rulings on the transfer and storage of any personal data.

By this date all online data transfers must be encrypted by law, not just to comply with a Google safe guarding initiative. This includes contact form submissions, email subscriptions and even data passed from Google Analytics.

These new data protection laws are a big deal which you will hear about a lot – if you process any kind of personal data online you will not be able to ignore it.

So What Do You Need To Do?

In simple terms you should ask yourself the following questions:

Question 1: Does your website have any kind of text input – including an contact forms, search boxes or logins?
Question 2: Check your full website address in your browser, does it start http://?

If you’ve answered yes to both these questions, you need to act now to avoid being caught by this update.

An SSL certificate can be purchased from your website hosting provider, costs can vary but it will usually be charged at an annual fee. With this in mind, your first task is to contact your website hosts who will be able to provide the correct guidance.

If you need any help or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.