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secure website with green padlock

Not too long ago, Google started penalizing websites that are not mobile friendly (here’s a test to see if yours is). Simply put, websites that don’t work well on mobile devices get pushed lower in the search rankings.

Now, in a blog post published a few weeks ago, they’re making some significant changes to how they handle website security.

And, yes, it impacts you.

What is SSL?

You know that little padlock we’ve been trained to look for while banking or shopping online? Well, you’re going to start seeing a lot more of it across all websites – and that needs to include yours.

That little padlock means that the website has SSL security installed, which encrypts your connection and ensures anything you type (like passwords) is “garbled” so the bad guys can’t see it as it passes across the Internet.

Without the padlock, your connection is not secure and anything you type is sent “in the clear” – which is less than ideal, of course.

Google’s plan to make the web more secure

Beginning January 2017, Google’s Chrome browser will show a “not secure” message on websites that allow you to type passwords or credit card info but do not have SSL in place.

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But that’s just the first step.

Google wants all websites to be secured with SSL – even simple marketing websites. As a result, Chrome will eventually show the “not secure” warning on ANY website that doesn’t have SSL installed.

When this happens, it’s going to be a big deal.

The last thing you want is someone seeing security warning messages on your website. It’s scary and causes people to leave faster than you can say “Boo!”

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Ultimately, this is a good thing for users. Traffic should be encrypted and secure across the entire Internet. Google is pushing us in that direction, for which I think they should be applauded.

The bottom line

If your website doesn’t have SSL installed and enforced, now is the time to do it.

This is why we include SSL as part of our new ActiveAgency platform. We’ll also be working with all of our clients to ensure their websites are ready.

Never a dull moment.