On the 24th July Google updated to Chrome 68 and it has brought about some changes that anyone with a website should be aware of, especially if your website is still using HTTP.
what's wrong with http?
Since 2017 the Google Chrome browser has been showing users security warnings when sites are using HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and not HTTPS. The reason for this is that the “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure”. Sites using HTTP do not scramble the data that you enter into a website, whereas any websites using HTTPS will make sure that your data is encrypted to keep it safe from potential hackers.
If a website is using HTTP, then the data inputted by a user is essentially visible as it travels between you and the website. This provides the opportunity for cyber-criminals to intercept the data and steal it.
Despite the added security that comes with using HTTPS around 20% of the world’s most visited websites are still using HTTP and are yet to make the switch over to HTTPS. In the UK websites such as The Daily Mail, Sky Sports and Argos are all still using HTTP.
It’s important to note that none of these websites have been revealed as having problems with data breaches, but with the Chrome 68 update it means that when visiting these websites, they will be flagged as “not secure” by the Google Chrome browser.
All HTTP Sites Now Trigger Security Warning
As mentioned, security warnings on Google’s Chrome browser for sites using HTTP is not new in itself, but the Chrome 68 update has brought about a significant change.
Up until now Chrome only issued a warning that a site was “not secure” when it was using HTTP if those websites collected passwords or card details. However, now all websites that are not using HTTP will be flagged as “not secure”, regardless of whether they collect password or card details.
This means that every website using HTTP is affected by the Chrome 68 update.
Should Your Site Be Using HTTPS?
The National Cyber Security Centre in the UK issued a statement saying that all websites should make the move to HTTPS and with the latest update from Chrome it seems that it is becoming more important to make the move to HTTPS. Other popular web browsers such as Safari and Firefox are likely to shortly follow the same path as Chrome.
Just think about the implications of your website being flagged as “not secure”. It could lead to people leaving your site or if you sell products and/or services, users could be put off from following through with a purchase. This could have a negative impact on website traffic and lead to a decline in online sales.
HTTPS is also a ranking factor in Google search results, meaning that if your website is not using HTTPS, and a competitor is, then your site could fall below them in the search rankings.
It is recommended that your website uses HTTPS, to ensure that it is not flagged as “not secure” by web browsers.
If you have a website or your company’s website is yet to make the make the move to HTTPS, then contact the Innovation Visual team. We have successfully migrated a number of sites to HTTPS with our tried and tested process.