Why your website needs to be secured right now

1. What is HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and how does it work?

2. What is HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)?

3. How will Chrome 68 affect businesses?

4. What are the risks to you when entering an unsecure website?

The hot security topic of the week goes to Google Chrome’s brand-new HTTP warning, which looks to put a stop to website surveillance and, of course, unwanted tampering.

As of Tuesday 24th July 2018, Google has released Chrome 68, an online browser which will send out a warning sign informing you if the website you intend to visit is an unencrypted HTTP website.

What is HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and how does it work?

HTTP has been around since the internet was invented by non-other than Berners-Lee. This HyperLink Transfer Protocol allows your chosen website browser to fetch a web page from a server host. HTTP has been at the forefront of the internet, but there is an alternative which protects communication with encryption – something that HTTP falls short on.

A range of browser giants including Google, Mozilla and many others have been encouraging websites to switch to a secure and protected version called HTTPS.

What is HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)?

HTTPS has been around for a long time, but has only been used in the past to protect us when using data such as card numbers, passwords etc.

Using HTTPS in the past required a certificate which came with a fee, however due to Let’s Encrypt – an open certificate authority sponsored by a range of companies including Google, Shopify, Facebook and many more – these must-have certificates are now available free of charge.

How will Chrome 68 affect businesses?

Chrome 68’s unmissable warning sign will now be displayed at the beginning of a URL with an ‘i’ inside a circle and the words ‘not secure’.  There will also be a drop down box available which states ‘your connection to this site is not secure’ in red.

The implications for businesses not using HTTPS could be somewhat detrimental. Reputational damage is at the top of the list. Once a website has an unsecure reputation, it would start to see potential loss in traffic, higher bounce rates, fewer clicks and lower rankings. It’s safe to say the big red flag from Google Chrome 68 is simply one you want to avoid. For businesses who use web filtering as a security measure, access to unsecure websites will be completely blocked, meaning you could lose out on a wealth of potential customers.

What are the risks to you when entering an unsecure website?

When you interact with a website that is unencrypted, your actions could be shared to unknown companies across the world. This content can then be modified without you knowing. This can also invite intermediaries to insert trackers, adverts or malicious software on selected websites.

The internet can be a dangerous place, so it’s important to make sure you’re aware of the potential threat of malware infection, phishing scams or invasion of privacy. Read more about how TSG can help you with your IT security and potentially break a hacker’s heart with our apps infected by malware blog post here.