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Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My Website?

April 6th, 2017 by Didier Bizimungu

Webtivity Designs recommends that ALL webmasters or site owners upgrade their websites with an SSL certificate.

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology.

SSL CertificateSSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.

This increased protection has not gone unnoticed by search engines. Starting in 2015 Google has slowly but surely increased the importance of having an SSL certificate to its search rankings. We fully expect the rest of the big three, Yahoo and Bing, to follow Google’s lead.

This is outlined on the Google Webmaster Blog.

This is a rare but incredible break in normal Google practices of never commenting on search ranking factors. They did not stop there with their pursuit of a more secure user experience. Recently the Google Chrome browser began showing a “Not Secure” warning on any webpage without an SSL that collects user data.

Where can you get an SSL Certificate? Webtivity currently offers SSL Certificates as well as installation and maintenance for a nominal fee. Certificates must be renewed every year to remain valid. We can provide a free estimate on the cost of the whole process.

If you do not go through us GoDaddy also offers SSL Certificates. Please note however that they do not offer installation or renewal services, just a certificate.

https webtivityA key requirement of an SSL Certificate is a dedicated IP. This means a website has its own IP address. Typing in the URL of the website or its IP address would bring you to the same website. This has the added benefit of speeding up the loading time of your website further positively influencing SEO rankings.

Webtivity is here to guide you through this process regardless of which provider you use. We highly recommend that ALL of our clients upgrade their websites to this security level. This goes double for current SEO clients.

Please feel free to send any questions or concerns our way via email or phone call at: (941) 753-7574


What Does the Not Secure Warning Mean?

March 24th, 2017 by Didier Bizimungu

There are many variations of Not Secure going around the Internet right now. “Not secure” is the warning you will see in the URL or address bar while using the Chrome Browser on certain pages. See below for an example.

chrome address bar not secure warning

When did this start?

This change came into effect on January 31st, 2017 with the release of Chrome Version 56.

chrome not secure warning origin

What Pages Are Affected?

Website pages with password or credit card form fields will trigger this “not secure” warning. For example a non-HTTPs or unsecured WordPress login page will look like this:

wordpress unsecured example

 

Some people may question the efficacy of this move in light of the fear it may instill in some unfamiliar users. For example for those of us who use the SmarterMail email server to manage our emails we now see:

unsecured site smartermail

Now imagine if you were not familiar with the Internet. Does that look like a safe place to login to you? This abrupt move by not just Google but Firefox as well has lofty goals but mark my words there will be growing pains.

What browsers are affected?

The browsers with the Not Secured Warning thus far include Firefox and Google Chrome. Firefox’s not secure warning started with Firefox 52. It’s warning looks a bit different than Chrome’s however:

firefox security warning

What is the goal?

The ultimate goal of both Chrome and Firefox, as well as some other browsers which I’m sure are to follow, is to secure the entire Internet over SSL. Regular HTTP has been shown to be vulnerable to “middle men” attacks. The monitoring, interception, and sometimes even injection of information before it can reach its destination.

It’s easy to see how this might be a concern for pages that contain sensitive information such as credit card or password information.

As it stands about a third of all web traffic is routed through SSLs or HTTPs and that number only keeps growing.

What can I do?

Get in touch with the consummate SEO professionals at Webtivity for more information on how to attain an SSL Certificate to ensure that your website visitors do not run into this menacing issue!