Avoiding the Chrome “Not Secure” Warning

Chrome “Not Secure”

Wondering about the Chrome “Not Secure” warning that appears when you visit certain websites? Read on to find out how their new SSL policy effects you as an internet user and as a website owner.

When it comes to internet browsers, Google Chrome is at the top with over 1 billion users worldwide. If you use Chrome, you know how superior it is to its competitors such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. Due to its popularity and wide use, it’s safe to say that Google has a lot of clout in the industry. When they set a new policy that effects every user and website on the internet – it is important to take a closer look.

What is SSL / HTTPS?

Last year, Google announced that it would begin to flag websites that were not secure, in an effort to increase security on the world wide web. “Not Secure” means that the website doesn’t have a Secure Socket Layer, or SSL certificate, installed. Why does that matter? Well, if there is no SSL on a website, any data sent by you to the website owner will not be encrypted. Non-encrypted data can easily be intercepted by nefarious hackers. It’s like sending a postcard in the mail. Would you write your credit card or social security number on a postcard and send it along in the mail? Probably not!

You can easily tell if a website has an SSL installed by looking at the address bar in your browser window. If you see an HTTPS then it is secure. If you see an HTTP without an S, then no security is present.

chrome "not secure"

How the Chrome “Not Secure” Warning Effects Internet Users

Since Google implemented the Not Secure feature in January 2017, chances are you’ve already had some experience with it. The “Not Secure” warnings exist for the sole purpose of keeping you informed of the level of security on a website; something you might otherwise overlook in today’s harried and busy world. Ultimately, Google wants to keep your personal information safe.

If you are on a website that is asking for personal information and it’s not an HTTPS site, don’t enter any information.

If you are on a website that doesn’t ask for personal information and it’s not an HTTPS site, will it adversely affect you? Probably not. However, we always encourage users to proceed with caution. Any website can contain harmful drive-by downloads or links if the site has been hacked.

How the Chrome “Not Secure” Warning Effects Website Owners

Websites are crucial to your business success. If website visitors are receiving a red alert or a “Not Secure” warning when they reach your website, you will lose out. Even if you don’t collect sensitive information on your website, getting an SSL is still important in building trust with your audience.

Having an SSL certificate installed on your website not only encrypts your customer’s data transmission on your site, your SSL certificate also confirms you are the legitimate and verified owner of your website. To obtain an SSL you will have to verify your identity, business and website ownership (depending on the validation level of your SSL):

You must show that you own the domain name you want to secure. Make sure your domain records are up-to-date and that they match the visible information on your website.

SSL & Search Engine Optimization Benefits

We all want to achieve strong rankings in search engine results pages. In August 2014 Google confirmed that it would start to use HTTPS as a search engine ranking signal. That first article noted that “for now it’s only a very lightweight signal,” but over time Google “may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Bottom Line

If you have a website, it’s time to get an SSL. We can help.

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Mike Dorr, President

Mike began as a Burgess network engineer in 1998. He later spent 3 years as Five County Credit Union’s Director of IT before returning as an owner in 2006. He lives in Bath with his wife and children and is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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