Next month, (July 2018) Google will release version 68 of their Chrome web browser, which is used by over half of the people on internet. As they announced in a blog earlier this year, version 68 will start marking all non-HTTPS sites as “Not Secure.” This isn’t going to degrade a user’s experience when visiting a site, but the eerie “Not Secure” message will remain in the URL bar for every page of the site. Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for any business that needs to foster trust with users.
Let’s dive into a brief technical explanation. HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol. That’s not not important for the purposes of this blog, but just know that this protocol tells the internet how to run. HTTPS is the same thing with an S on the end, which stands for secure. That’s the important part. For a site to run on HTTPS, it has to be encrypted. In order to be encrypted, it has to have a SSL certificate from a certificate authority.
Google has been slowly pushing the internet toward tighter security for years. But this is their biggest push yet. Essentially, they’ve taken it upon themselves to designate every non-encrypted site as “Not Secure”. It’s a gutsy move. But hey, it’s Google. And ultimately, getting everyone on HTTPS it will make the internet a safer place.
This month, gooWee is making the change to HTTPS for all sites hosted in-house (at no extra cost). We’re installing SSL certificates using Let’s Encypt, a popular and free certificate authority. And going forward, we’re going to make this a default part of our website creation process. It’s worth a little extra legwork for a safer and more secure internet. And we say cheers to that!