hurry and go to HTTPS now

Google: “HTTPS now. Or else.”

What Is HTTPS

If you look at the address bar at the top of your browser page, you’ll see the URL for this page of the Web.  If you’re using Chrome, the most popular browser today, you’ll see that the URL starts with “https://”, and to its left is a green lock with the word “secure”.  The happy symbol tells you that all the communication between your browser and the server that’s fetching Web pages for you is encrypted.  A third party who intercepts your communication won’t be able to read it, and, also important, won’t be able to change it.

The use of HTTPS instead of the earlier protocol HTTP, that doesn’t encrypt traffic, has grown to the point where more than three-quarters of all Web traffic is now encrypted.  Google has been pushing for the use of HTTPS.  Their advocacy is an important reason for this shift, which protects all of us, those who have Web servers and users who are using Web browsers.

Their pressure for HTTPS has helped all of us, but don’t think of them as crusading white knights.  Their revenue comes from user trust in their search engine, and user trust in the use of the Web.  Google’s neverending font of revenue depends on a safe Web, so this advocacy has been strongly in Google’s interest as well as ours.

What’s Changing

Today, if you’re using HTTPS, you’ll see the happy green lock and the word “secure” to the left of the URL.  However, Google has confirmed on May 17 that they believe that users expect the Web to be secure, so instead of showing HTTPS as exceptional, they’re going to assume that HTTPS is the standard, and if your site still uses HTTP, then they’ll display a red warning that your site is not secure.

This won’t take place until the next release of Chrome, so you have over the summer to make the transition to HTTPS.  However, it’s no easier in September than it is today, so the best approach is to get with it and make the change now if you haven’t done it already.

The other reason to use HTTPS is that Google also tells us that they’re considering it as a ranking factor in search engine results, so if you want to have your site show up prominently in Google search results, then you’ll use HTTPS.

The Bottom Line

If you’re not using HTTPS, make the change now!

If you’re using Dave’s Super Hosting Service, this isn’t a problem for you, because HTTPS is provided for all sites that I host.  In addition to backup to the Amazon cloud, the most secure backup server.  And the most advanced Web security protection that’s available.

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