On  July 24, 2018 Google released Chrome version 68. With this update, to one of the most popular browsers, comes a very important change. Starting with Chrome 68, the browser will start displaying a “Not Secure” badge next to the URL bar if the site isn’t secure.

Non-secure message in Chrome 68

This is a major call-out to those site owners who haven’t heeded the search giant’s warnings about Secure Socket Layers and HTTPS.

So What Is SSL and HTTPS?

SSL is a security certificate that encrypts traffic coming from your visitors browser going to the site’s server. You can tell a site is using SSL when you see https://yourdomain.com instead of http://yourdomain.com. For some time now, Google has been on a crusade to make the Internet more secure. This includes making sites that use SSL rank higher for similar keyword than their non-SSL counterparts.

But I’m Not Selling Anything. Why Do I Need My Site To Be Secure?

That’s a great question. Here’s a few reasons why:

    1. Google is making a big stink about it and will call out your site in Chrome
    1. It’s a ranking factor and will help your search engine optimization efforts
  1. People will start looking for HTTPS in the URL bar in other browsers as this push by Google becomes more and more important

So What Are The Next Steps?

This can be very terrifying to the non-Web-oriented Website owner. The best advice we can give is contact your IT or Web person to have them either install a purchased SSL certificate from a place like NameCheap or GoDaddy or get a Let’s Encrypt FREE SSL certificate.

Once you have your certificate installed on your site, you’re going to want to have someone do a security audit to make sure everything is running through that certificate and there isn’t any holes leaking out around the SSL certificate.

This Is All Too Much For Me. I’m Totally Freaking Out!

Take a deep breath and breathe. If you have nowhere to turn, contact Goldstein Media and we can help you out.

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Seth Goldstein is the Principal Creative Director at Goldstein Media LLC. He has been in the Web design and Internet marketing business for more than 10 years. A self-proclaimed technologist, Seth is addicted to all types of technology. He loves to help businesses of all sizes figure out the best way to use the Internet to grow their business.

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