Using secure HTTPS connections for your company website are quickly becoming a requirement.
Attracting visitors to your website sometimes can feel like a full-time job. Increasing the search engine rankings of websites through search engine optimization, or SEO, has spawned an entire industry. But what used to involve content and keywords now requires more technical expertise such as mobile-friendly design and secure connections.
Secure connections used to be an optional website component. Your webmaster would configure Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology if your website offered e-commerce features or hosted forms that requested sensitive data. For most of us, the little padlock icon is something we associate with credit card data.
Fast forward to 2017, and the protocol of HTTPS is no longer a mere nicety. Open traffic via HTTP can be exploited or reveal sensitive data. Consumers expect a secure connection for every site they visit. In April, Google announced upcoming versions of Chrome (the most common browser on the planet) will display "not secure" when loading pages that still use nonsecure HTTP protocol. Type into a form field (even just a search term), and the warning will be displayed.
And now, even your search engine ranking can be affected adversely. Sites that do not use HTTPS will be ranked lower than secure sites with similar content. A secure connection is now a matter of SEO.
Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any data users type into websites should be inaccessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62, Chrome will show the “not secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites.
According to Google, the company plans to display a "not secure" warning for all HTTP pages eventually. Now is the time to secure your site, improve performance and increase your search ranking by implementing HTTPS. It's easier than you think, and using a "wildcard certificate" makes it affordable because you can cover multiple servers or sub-domains.