Computer Support for Northumberland
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Is your website secure? HTTP or HTTPS?

Posted on: 25th October, 2018

Are you viewing an HTTP or an HTTPS website?

If you use Google Chrome for browsing the internet, have you ever noticed the “Not Secure” message at the top of your internet browser page?

not secure - http website

(Microsoft’s browser, Edge, just shows an exclamation mark.)

If you click the “Not Secure” you see a message pop-out like this:

Connection to this site is not secure

This means that the website you are viewing is not secured by use of the “HTTPS” method of showing you websites.

This differs from the older “HTTP” protocol, as it is a more secure way of protecting any data that you may share with the website. Hence the “S”, for secure, suffix.

Google has decided that it is in a position to effectively force us all to have a safer internet experience. They care because they want everyone to use the internet as much as possible, as that’s where Google makes its money.

It is said that over 70% of websites now use the HTTPS protocol.

For your own website this is more than just a useful way to show users that you care about their security. Google is now ranking HTTPS sites much higher than HTTP sites. So you could be losing valuable traffic.

How do you get an HTTPS website?

You simply buy and install an SSL Certificate. Your Domain Hosting company then adds the certificate to your website and you now have HTTPS rather than HTTP. It really is as easy as that.

Or, even easier and less expensive, is to transfer your Domain Name Hosting to us. We offer SSL Certificates for free with all of our standard Domain Name Hosting packages. See for details.

https secure website

(In technobabble – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.)

Are HTTP websites not to be used?

No, they can still be used. You should be wary of entering any sensitive information, such as credit card details, but there’s no reason not to view the pages.

Can I trust HTTPS websites?

Not totally. Anyone can set up a website and buy an SSL Certificate. HTTPS simply means that a 3rd party, i.e. not you or the website owner, cannot read your data. But there is nothing to stop a malicious conman from setting up a website, giving it the HTTPS protocol and asking you for all of your data!

It’s all too confusing!

It is very confusing and can be a difficult thing to understand. The main reason that we are flagging this up is to explain why your website should have HTTPS.

It makes Google and other search engines rank you higher than a competitor with only HTTP. The minor additional cost is very well worth it.

If you would like more information give us a call for free, no-obligation advice on whether or not you need an SSL Certificate and how to go about getting one for your own website.

Call: 01670 432 324 or 0759 666 4626
Keeping IT Simple!

Curlew Computers – based between Alnwick and Morpeth – offer computer support services to businesses, schools, charities and home users throughout Northumberland.
Computer Support Contracts; Secure Online Data Backup; Domain Name Hosting; Office 365 Solutions.

© Michael Donkin 2018