THE WAY DATA IS SENT BETWEEN YOUR WEBSITE AND YOUR BROWSER IS PROBABLY THROUGH A PROTOCOL CALLED HTTP, SIMPLY BECAUSE that WAS THE NORM. BUT THE NORM IS CHANGING...
https is safer and is shown with a green padlock in the url bar while http has nothing. http pages will soon create a security alert which warns visitors that data is not sent securely here.
The following warning is what Google Chrome users will see on HTTP webpages with a login or payment form after January 2017.
You should aim to update your website to HTTPS before January 2017 otherwise security warnings will spook your visitors and they may not come knocking again.
With HTTP, if a hacker manages to break into the connection between your browser and a website you are on then they can read the information you are sending in plain-text. This is the foremost reason to avoid entering your personal information or card details over a public wifi connection - exactly why this HTTP Chrome warning will come into effect so soon.
If your company uses a content management system (examples are Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal) and your members or employees can login to edit your site then a hacker could potentially intercept a login and wreak havoc, costing you dearly. Cue HTTPS:
HTTPS is the secure way of sending data between websites and browsers - the ’S’ in HTTP indeed stands for ‘secure’.
When you visit a website that uses HTTPS on Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla or Google web browsers you will see a padlock in the URL bar to indicate that your information is secure. Rather than seeing http://www.example.com you would see https://www.example.com instead.
There is a public encryption key which sits on the browser encrypting all data sent by the browser to the website. This data can only be understood when it has been decrypted by a private key, hidden to all but the owner of that key (i.e. the webmaster). With HTTP this encryption doesn’t happen at all and all information and data is visible in plain english to an opportunistic fraudster.
The key thing to remember is that personal, contact or payment information sent via HTTPS cannot be read by a hacker unless they have the private key (which they won’t find out).
We, like Google, are taking security very seriously and are in the process of migrating our current clients to HTTPS protocol which brings massive benefits:
After the HTTPS migration occurs your visitors will place greater trust in your business credentials and your web security procedures.
And perhaps the greatest reason to make the move now is that Google will rank you at least 1% higher on all searches that you rank for, likely within days. Furthermore - this search page ranking boost may grow over time so drop what you are doing and get started on this!
This is a scenario where it pays to be prepared ahead of time.