On October 17, 2017, we’ve been graced with a new update to Google Chrome — the most popular browser in the world, with 44% of the overall Internet userbase. Now Chrome will warn the visitors if your website is not safe — which scares users off. And by «not safe» Google means «doesn’t have SSL».
Why you need SSL and why Google hates website without it
The digital security issue has gone global in the last couple of years. Not so long, 150 million of American citizens had their data stolen from Equifax, including the social security numbers. Before that, we’ve had hacks of PSN, Yahoo, Ashley Madison and other companies. And it’s not only a Western issue — Russia is facing the same problems. Acunetfix even published security statistics based on 10 million leaked Yandex accounts.
Of course, SSL won’t help if your server is available to every company employee and protected by a login admin and password password. But it the very least will protect you from The Man in the Middle — a type of attack when the hacker intercepts the traffic and uses it in their own goals. Even if the hacker does intercept the SSL encrypted data, they won’t be able to read it without 256-bit keys, which are located only on the website server and in the client’s browser.
If you want to know more about The Man in the Middle and other hacking techniques, read our article «How to defend yourself from hackers in public».
«But I don’t have personal data on my website!» say those who oppose the mass adoption of SSL. «Why would Google make me buy the certificate?» The reason lies in human nature. Most people don’t use unique passwords on every website, so when hackers figure out their password on the catohololics forum, they also get a Facebook password. Or even the one for a bank account.
That’s why Google announced a year ago, that it’s going to mark website without SSL as unsafe and actually decrease their search ratings, pushing them off the first few pages of the search results. And now they finally decided to take action.
How does the lack of SSL affect the website popularity
Since 44% of Internet users use Chrome, even the most merciful stats show that websites without SSL will lose around 35% of visitors. And that’s not even counting the search ratings hit.
How to check if the website is protected via SSL
There are a couple of ways to check if your website is secured via SSL.
Via Google Chrome
Just go to the website and look at the address bar.
But if you see the red warning sign and or the gray icon, that means the website is not secure.
Via other browsers
In other browsers, you should check how does the URL begin. If it starts with https:// — you are secure. If it’s http:// — there’s no certificate.
As you can see, in my examples the connection is not safe. If you see the same on your website, don’t worry — you won’t be the first one to completely miss out on Google’s new features. Right now you can see the same «Not secure» signs on Marvel.com, IMDB.com, StarWars.com and dozens of other top-profile websites.
How to install SSL
If you have a webmaster or even just an IT person — you can task them with it. If you don’t, you’ll have to use manuals:
SSL at Unihost
We understand, that not everyone wants to figure out what SSL is and how to use it — even if it is very important. That’s why at Unihost:
- SSL certificates are already installed on all shared hosting websites. Just pick HTTPS in Softaculous when you install your CMS and everything will be set up automatically.
- We have our own CSR request generator for those who do not like terminals, yet want to install SSL on a VPS or a server. You can simply create a ticket for the SSL installation and our support team will do it as a part of the free Basic management service.
If you have any questions about getting or installing the SSL certificate, simply write to Unihost chat at Unihost.com and we will be happy to help you.