How important is cyber security to you? For most people, it’s not very important until one day their website is hacked. Anyone who has suffered this problem knows just how costly and time-consuming it is.
Google and other web browsers have been recommending that you make your website secure for years now but you probably haven’t heard because… well why would you! So what does this actually mean? As you know cyber security is a problem, fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to take your money or ruin your business. You should know by now that when you make purchases online the website taking your money should be secure, you can see that it is by the padlock at the top of your browser. I have to get a bit technical here so stay with me, what this does is make your connection to the website encrypted (secure) so that hackers cannot intercept the data and grab the information. What this also does is lock down your web pages so it becomes much more difficult to get hacked (not impossible though).
So why are you seeing this “Your connection is not private error” message? Some web browsers are now displaying this message to users to notify that the website is not secure and therefore it could be a dangerous website. This is slightly misleading because although true, the user thinks it’s a bad website when in fact most websites are not HTTPS (secure). Anyway to get around this message you have to make sure that your website is HTTPS (secure).
How do I make my website HTTPS (secure)?
Good question! Your website needs to have an SSL certificate which will sit on your web server (web host) and encrypt all your web pages. You can ask any website specialist to do this for you, your web host can also take care of this for you but they will charge you much more and they wont solve ‘the SEO problem’ (see below). By the way, an SSL certificate only lasts for a period of time then you have to renew it otherwise guess what? Your back to non-secure HTTP and the warning!
Other things you need to know about SSL certificates
Certificate types: There are different types of SSL certificates depending on the security level but essentially having any SSL is going to be enough to get rid of the message at least and give you a decent level of security. If you are an online shop you may want to look at the options further here.
How to install a certificate: Its really not easy or straight forward to install a certificate, I strongly recommend a professional do it for you. Basically, you have to generate security information before obtaining an SSL, then once you have obtained one (that’s a long process too) you have to install it. Then you have the search engine optimisation (SEO) problem aka your ‘google rank’.
Google ranking: Apart from being secure and users feeling safe on your website there is another great benefit from going HTTPS and that is your website rank will benefit. Your rank will actually increase by making your website secure. Now, this won’t happen overnight but it will happen! Happy days??? Not quite yet, BEWARE!!! There is a major flaw to all this… ‘the SEO problem’.
What is the SEO implications with SSL certificates?
Great you made it this far, you now know that you have to make our website secure, you know why but now you need to understand that by making your website HTTPS you can lose your entire search engine rankings. Yes, you heard it, your website can and probably will lose its website rank if you don’t take the necessary SEO precautions.
The technical bit is that Google takes HTTP and HTTPS as 2 different websites and by transferring to HTTPS Google will start to rank your ‘new’ website and still see the old one (google penalises duplicate websites). That’s why your rank will be affected and that’s why there are a whole load of website changes and configuration updates that are required so that Google knows that your website is secure, you only have one website (https…) and that all your web pages are now associated with your new secure website. Got that!? Confused? Call 0800 0751 082 and i’ll break it down for you.
Your connection is not private ‘recap’
By now you should be asking what SSL shall I get, who is going to configure my SSL, will they do the SEO work, how will I know that the work is going to be done correctly, how log will all this take and most importantly how much is it going to cost?
- An SSL can range from free (Lets Encrypt) to EV SSl which start from around £100
- Installation can be anything from £50 to £150
- SEO work is more difficult to calculate because there are so many updates that ‘can’ be done, however at minimum you want HTTP forward to HTTPS and all web pages individually pointed to new web pages and re submitted to Google. The bigger or complicated your website is the more it can cost. I’d budget a minimum £300.
Please contact Quad Technology to action the above on 0800 0751 082 or email@example.com.