If you are focused on your online presence to build up your business’ success, then you need to make sure that your website is secure. Whether it is freshly made or has been around for years, a secure site is a must-have. This is especially true for websites that deal with e-commerce. Not just e-commerce stores need to worry about their site security. In fact, if your website requests and/or stores any visitor info, you need to provide security to those visitors.
Below, we will address questions about securing your website with HTTPS and what it means to have a secure website. If this is all new information to you, don’t fret. Hundreds of people are searching for google to find out why their website isn’t secure. So, keep reading to learn more!
What Does It Mean To Have A Website That’s Not Secure?
It is only normal when you visit a website that prompts the message “not secure” to feel uneasy. In fact, it could be your own website throwing you this message.
You could be asking yourself the question, “Why is my website not secure?” or “what does it mean to have a website that isn’t secure?” Both questions are important, and they require answers. You need to know the answers to both if you are going to travel to a website that has that warning in the search bar. So to help answer these questions, we have provided some information below. Here is what you need to know about sites that are not secure:
HTTP Isn’t Secure
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is found at the beginning of a website’s URL. It is a protocol that is used by the World Wide Web to find HTML documents. Put simply, it displays websites.
However, if you are on a website that shows HTTP in front of the URL, you aren’t on a website that is secure. What this means is that the personal information you give to this website could be stolen, modified, or read by hackers. We will talk more about HTTP later on. Let’s get to the next ‘need to know’ information.
HTTPS Is Secure
If you are on a website that has HTTPS in front of the URL, then you will be happy to know that it is secure. You won’t get a warning saying “not secure” with HTTPS in front of the URL. What does that mean exactly? You don’t risk losing personal information to hackers if you have to provide it to the website.
Google.com and Amazon.com are only a couple of the most popular websites that users utilize when shopping online and browsing. These sites use HTTPS in order to let their visitors know that they are safe.
How is HTTPS safe? It provides encryption. This means that your personal information can’t be stolen or tracked. That data will remain uncorrupted when being transferred or authenticated.
Google advocates for sites with HTTPS over HTTP sites. However, in 2018, they made their stance clear. That year, in July, the search engine decided to warn users with the “not secure” marker located in the search bar. This would deter traffic from sites that are less than secure.
It is important to know that if a website is “not secure,” your computer is not infected. It isn’t uncommon for users to believe that this warning means they are under attack from malicious malware or viruses. You don’t have to worry about that.
The warning just means that your information isn’t that secure on the current website. On these sites, make sure you refrain from using any personal information. Luckily, Websites that don’t have HTTPS tend to rank in the later pages of results.
It is Google’s main job to provide users with relevant results. These results are based on a lot of factors, such as Keywords, Domain Authority, Number of Backlinks, and more.
Google uses the security status of websites to rank them in search results. If your website isn’t secure, you may not see an improvement in your rankings. In fact, you may see the ranking of your site get substantially worse.
How Can I Fix My Website If It Isn’t Secure?
Up to this point, you have probably been worried that your website isn’t ranking where it should be or as trusted as you want it to be. It isn’t difficult to adopt HTTPS. In fact, below, we have summed up the process in 5 steps. These steps will show you how to secure your website for customers and traffic. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
An SSL certificate installed on your website ll help you make your website secure. Installing this certificate causes a few changes to happen. These changes provide users with a secure version of the site. These changes are as followed
- The browser will request a server identity when connecting to a website.
- The server responds by sending the SSL certificate to the browser.
- The browser then determines whether or not the certificate is trustworthy.
- If trustworthy, it sends a message to the server.
- The server then uses a digitally-signed document as a response. This document gives permission to start an encrypted session that the SSL certificate trusts.
- The server and browser will share the encrypted data.
All Links Should Use HTTPS
In order for your external and internal links to continue to effectively operate, you want them to utilize HTTPS. It is a tedious but crucial process that will only help your website.
Make Sure You Verify Your Site In Google Search Console
Now that you have installed the certificate, and all your links are using HTTPS, you want to verify both HTTPS and HTTP versions of the site with Google Search Console. While doing this, make sure that your chosen domain is set to the version that uses HTTPS. That way, the visitors to your site find a secure version to browse.
Make Sure HTTP Links Are Redirected
In the event of your website being mentioned on a third-party site, if you have control over it, make sure that the mentions are of HTTPS. You will want to create 301 redirects on your own site to ensure that the HTTP URL references the version with HTTPS.
Now that all of that is out of the way update your XML Sitemap to reference the secure versions of your web pages. The sitemap acts as a navigator for visitors as well as Google, allowing safe and easy navigation through your website. Make sure to submit the updated sitemap to make sure that Google Search Console re-crawls your website with the new links.