From Carrot to Stick: Another Reason to Have a Secure Website

From Carrot to Stick: Another Reason to Have a Secure Website
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan May 30, 2018

From carrot to stick, Google Chrome – arguably the most popular desktop and phone web browser – has made additional changes to how domain names are presented in the address bar.

We've talked a lot about why SSL is important for all websites, even if you are not processing personal information. This future Google Chrome update is another example for why it is so important to make the move to SSL.

The SSL Story So Far

When HTTP was far more popular than HTTPS, most web browsers rewarded HTTPS websites by displaying a green or gold "Lock" icon. As Google began its push for secure websites, a much more visible "Secure" in green text popped up to the left of the domain name in the address bar as a carrot of sorts. This was a reward for being forward thinking, having a secure site, and complying with Google's demands polite requests.

What's Changing Regarding SSL And Google Chrome

As announced on Google's Chromium Blog, the tide has turned and there are enough secure websites to start punishing non-secure websites with scary warnings. Google's crusade for web security has been successful.

In Google's Transparency Report on HTTPS encryption, encrypted traffic across Google at the end of 2013 was approximately 48%. As of May 2018, the same traffic is at an astounding 93%.

For this reason, Google's Chrome team feels comfortable moving from the carrot to the stick when to comes to the battle of HTTP versus HTTPS.

HTTPS sites will go from the green lock icon and "Secure" text to a simple grey lock icon in September of 2018, with the goal of eventually removing the lock icon altogether since SSL will be the norm.

Previously, there were too many HTTP sites out there to show red flags in your browser bar. As of October 2018, Chrome will show a strong red "Not secure" warning in the address bar of Google Chrome users anytime a user starts to enter data (like a lead form on a contact us page) on a HTTP page.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Google Chrome accounts for the majority of global web browser usage which means that the majority of web users will see these changes unfold over by the end of 2018. If your website is already SSL secure – congrats! Your forward thinking means you can sit back and relax for a moment. If your website is not SSL secure, you need to get a move on.

If you are a Footbridge Media client, you can simply contact your Marketing Consultant to find out what you'll have to do to get SSL secure – as the situation will depend on your specific account set-up.

If you don't yet use Footbridge Media for your contractor marketing needs, you can sign up today and your new website will include web hosting and SSL included in your program price. Otherwise, you'll have to work with your current marketing company to see what costs will be associated with adding an SSL.

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