How not to lose out on your web traffic with Googles new rules on SSL certificates

Published by Debbie King on

You may have already noticed, but Google is now enforcing new rules on which websites are show in its searches, following a push to make the internet safer for people to use.

But what does that mean?

This means Google are now flagging up unencrypted sites, which are sites without an SSL certificate. All Meow Media websites come with a FREE basic level SSL to prevent this from happening.

How do I know if I have an SSL certificate?

You can see if a website has an SSL certificate in the Google search bar. Websites with SSL certificates show up as https://www….. and display a message showing it is secure with a padlock.

Those without an SLL Certificate will display a ‘Not Secure’ message and a warning triangle in the URL bar – as shown below:

ssl certificate warning

What websites need an SSL? Isn’t is just for online shops?

The answer is no, Chrome version 62 has been released, which means any websites with any text input will need an SSL certificate. This refers to all sites with loggin panels, contact forms and search bars, who will have to install one to avoid this warning message.

So what is an SSL certificate, and how do I get one?

An SSL certificate is basically an online passport document. It means your website is linked to your business to show Google who owns the site.

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.

If an SSL certificate isn’t installed, a secure connection cannot be established; which means your company information will not be digitally connected to a cryptographic key and therefore a warning message will be displayed.

An SSL Certificate has following information:

  • Name of the holder
  • Serial number and expiration date
  • Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
  • Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authority

how ssl certificate works

What do SSL certificates do?

They encrypt sensitive information

The information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer. If this data is not encrypted, any computer between yours and your server can see information such as credit card numbers, usernames and passwords. An SSL certificate makes the information unreadable to everyone except the server it is meant for.

They provide protection from cyber attack/fraud

With the sensitive data encrypted, your customers and clients can be assured their personal information is safe when entered onto your website.

Different levels of SSL Certificates:

There are several types of SSL certificate levels to chose from, depending on the level of security needed.

Domain Validation

This is the lowest level of certificate and simply verifies that your organisation has control over the domain. These can be supplied for free by many hosting companies or for a small charge. Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL certificates for installation on any website.

Organization Validated SSL Certificates

A medium level of security certificate which means the ownership of the domain and organisation, as well as their address are validated. This is used for websites taking card and payment details from clients, where they are stored on their server (i.e. not being referred to Paypal, Apple Pay or Stripe).

Extended Validation Certificate

This is the highest level of security certificate offered. To be awarded this certificate means the organisation, domain, physical address, legal data are all checked before the certificate is issued. This is used by websites which store customer card details and government or official sites where highly sensitive data is gathered.

What level do I need?

If you are unsure of the level of certificate you require, please speak to your hosting provider, web designer or an SLL provider who will be able to advise you (links at end of this article).

How Can I Install SSL Certificate?

Your SSL certificate can be installed in a variety of ways, depending on the level you require. If you manage your own website, you may have a free basic SSL certificate offered by your domain name supplier, or your hosting company may be able to arrange this for you.

If not then you can contact an SLL cerificate supplier company to advise you, or if you are not technical you can speak to your web designer or developer who will be able to help.

Further reading:

https://letsencrypt.org/

https://www.123-reg.co.uk/ssl-certificates/

https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-an-ssl-certificate/

https://uk.godaddy.com/help/what-is-an-ssl-certificate-542

https://www.digicert.com/ssl-certificate/

%d bloggers like this: