Earlier in 2018, Google announced that starting in July, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure” if they haven’t adopted HTTPS encryption.
What does this mean?
Let’s start at the beginning. HTTPS is the encrypted version of the “hypertext transfer protocol” (HTTP) browsers use when communicating with websites. It keeps our data like credit card information and passwords safe when we enter it into websites. Some websites have made this transition over the past few years, but others have not. So, Google officially set a deadline for everyone.
Why should you care?
If you manage or own a website and don’t transition to a secure website by July 2018, users will see this in their address bar when they visit your website using Chrome:
It’s not a reputable warning and it may drive away web traffic. This also means that if you have any website referral ads (e.g., website banners or content syndication), results will be affected because Chrome users who click on the ads will be referred to a website with the “Not secure” warning.
Check to see if your website is secure by typing in the website URL into a browser address bar and hitting enter. If the URL updates to include “HTTPS” at the beginning, your website is safe and secure! If it only updates to “HTTP,” it’s time to call your website developer.
You can find more information about Google’s deadline and how to set up HTTPS on Google’s Security blog, here.