Is your website secured with HTTPS?

Michael Addison  Director of Technology

In October Google further increased the pressure on website owners to secure their websites properly by making sure they use HTTPS. If your website URL starts with HTTP and a page has an input, even if it’s only a search box, Chrome browsers will show a “NOT SECURE” warning in the address bar. This could be quite disconcerting for your visitors, possibly for good reason. Here is what you need to know and what steps you can take to make your website more secure.

But first, what is HTTPS?
All website URL’s on the internet start with http:// or https://. The “s” stands for “secure”. When you visit a site that uses HTTPS you can be sure of the following things:

  • All data that passes between you and the website you are using is encrypted. This means that nobody can ‘eavesdrop’, track or steal your information, whether you are typing in search terms or credit card details.
  • Data integrity is guaranteed and cannot be corrupted or modified during transfer without being detected.
  • You can be sure that you are browsing the intended website where there is no risk of man-in-the-middle attacks.

The trust this builds in users can translate into other business benefits.

How do I implement HTTPS on my website?
You will need to change setting on your server and your website code. If Paradigm is hosting your website, give us a call and we will implement this free of charge for you. It will usually takes a day to implement. If Paradigm is not hosting your website we will do an audit and give you a quote.

Here are the general steps that need to be taken for most sites.

  • Make sure no service or site will break when you switch to HTTPS
  • Obtain / purchase an TSL/SSL certificate
  • Install the certificate and configure the server, routing and possibly DNS settings. Make sure the correct redirect from the old to new URL is set
  • Change website routing settings and all pages where necessary
  • Tell Google and other search engines that you have changed to HTTPS
  • Test everything

Paradigm highly recommends that all websites convert to HTTPS as soon as possible. It’s usually fairly cost effective to make the switch and there is some evidence that HTTPS gives you a slight SEO boost. Sites without HTTPS are only going to get penalized more and more in the future as the internet matures and security is required on every level.