SSL (Secure Socket Layer) was developed in 1994 as a method for increasing security between a website and its end user. Though vastly improved, its purpose remains the same to this day and the technology has become the standard for website security. Without SSL protection, your user’s information can be easily compromised. Especially if you require your users to log in or provide personal information. Having an SSL certificate for your site is an essential step in protecting your site and its visitors.
Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser marks websites without an SSL Certificate as ‘not secure’.
For the past several years, Google has moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.
The prefix https will appear in front of a URL rather than the default http. You will also notice a green padlock appear in the address field of your browser.
Google has been pushing webmasters to make the change to non-secure websites a for years now – including hinting at small rankings boost to further incentivize the shift. The campaign has proved successful, according to their blog post:
The primary importance of an SSL is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it. The information sent and retrieved on the Internet is passed through several computers in order to reach its destination server. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to, protecting the data from hackers and identity thieves. In addition to encryption, a proper SSL certificate also provides authentication. Ensuring that all data is sent to the right server and not to an imposter trying to steal information.
It also enforces credibility on your website. The lock icon or a green bar indicated on an SSL protected website makes sure visitors know when their connection is secured. This will instil trust in your online consumer base making users more likely to view your website and trust your business. Installing an SSL will also prevent the dreaded “Your connection is not private” warning from appearing, which will avoid frightening off any wary users from visiting your website.