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The 411 on HTTPS: Why Every Business Needs a Secure Domain ASAP

image of person typing on laptop
Jesse Reinhart

Have you noticed those "not secure" warnings on Google Chrome?

They're now posted right in the browser on every website that hasn't transitioned from a HTTP to a HTTPS domain.

That's right...every website; including your business's website if you haven't switched to a secure domain.

Upon visiting an HTTP site, the user sees a gray icon in the URL bar, which shows a "not secure" warning once clicked on.

Website security error: "Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers."​As if that wasn't scary enough, the warning becomes even more prominent if the user fills out any text fields on the page or opens the site in incognito mode.

Website Not Secure error: "Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers."

​The rollout of "not secure warnings" started quietly a few years ago when Google and other search engines started showing them on HTTP websites that collected passwords or credit card information.

Because of recent updates, that warning applies to all HTTP websites, including those that don't collect passwords or credit card information.

So, what's the big deal about a "not secure" warning, anyways? Is it really dangerous?

If you are a business owner with a website, the answer is a resounding YES.

Here’s why:

  1. A “not secure” warning will make visitors to your website feel uneasy, which will increase your bounce rate.
  2. The more online visitors ditch (“bounce away from”) your website, the more opportunities you lose for new customers and new business.
  3. When your website is “not secure” people make unfair judgements about the trustworthiness of your business.
  4. Privacy protection is a scalding-hot topic in the media right now. A “non secure” label will give people the impression that you don’t care about their privacy or their safety.

Want to know more about secured domains and what you can do to avoid a “not secure” warning?

Get the 411 on HTTPS with These FAQs...

What's HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure" and is the industry's standard for encrypting data in transit for websites. "Data in transit" is any information that is submitted over the Internet or a private network. This could be anything from credit card information to a message sent through a chat box.

When a visitor sees https:// before a URL, they know they have a secure connection and are free from hackers that want to steal or exploit personal data. But when visitors see http:// before the URL, they know they're not getting the privacy protection they should.

Why Is Google Cracking Down on HTTP Websites?

Google is cracking down to give users a safer experience for the Google Chrome browser.

According to the search engine, HTTP sites allow intruders (both malignant and benign) to exploit unprotected resources between websites and users. These intruders range from cybercriminal looking for credit card information to enterprises looking to slip ads in front of online users.

To Google, having an HTTPs is essential for protecting the integrity of its browser experience and its users' safety.

How Many Websites Are Already Using HTTPS?

As of February 2018, Google shared that 81 of the top 100 websites were using an HTTPS domain by default. Google also stated that 68% of Chrome traffic on Android and Windows was protected with HTTPS domains. For Chrome OS and Mac, 78% of Chrome traffic was protected.

What Can I Do to Switch My Domain to HTTPS?

To make the switch to an HTTPS website, you need to obtain a TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate for your domain.

This digital certificate verifies a website's identity and uses technology to encrypt information sent to the server. It serves as your verification to ensure that your users are interacting with legitimate website owners, which instills an additional sense of trust.

If you're a Scorpion client using our domain services, the good news is we already took care of your SSL certificate for you, so there is one less thing for you to worry about. That's just one of the many perks that come with our web design and Internet marketing services.

If you're not working with us, and are using another platform like Wordpress hosting or another custom domain, we recommend starting the TLS certificate process as soon as possible. In order to accomplish this, you will have to go through a trusted authority that provides certificates. The costs for this can vary, but it will typically run you less than $100 a year. If you are going through this process independently, you will also want to make sure you are running anti-malware software consistently and using strong passwords.

How Can I Reduce the Bounce Rate of My Domain?

In addition to providing peace of mind for your website visitors and providing you with an additional sense of protection, one of the best reasons to switch your domain to HTTPS is to improve your bounce rate. As a rule of thumb, you want your bounce rate to be between 26 and 40%, but the average is between 41-55%. An excellent bounce rate would generally be considered around 80%, but this all depends on the specific goals of your business and website. Some other measures you can take to improve your bounce rate include:

  • Improve the readability of your content

  • Showcase your credibility, drawing attention to accolades, certificates, and endorsements

  • Focus on creating a positive user experience with an aesthetically pleasing website design and high quality images

  • Utilize video content to keep your audience engaged

  • Create an attractive call-to-action to lead your potential clients to your services

  • Cross-promote your content on social media to expand your audience

We understand that all of this information can feel a bit overwhelming, but creating a successful website that your viewers will want to browse should be quite simple. If you need some help breaking down these concepts and applying them to your own website, the team at Scorpion would be happy to help. Our web designers and Internet marketing specialists stay ahead of the curve on the latest industry trends so we can best serve our clients.

To find out how to improve your business's website and online presence, please feel free to reach out to our team. We would be happy to help take your website to the next level.