Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become part of our everyday life and we have become accustomed to using them to access the Web by connecting to public WiFi at work, while shopping or at our favourite cafe. Consequently, people are now becoming more and more sensitive and aware of the importance of protecting their personal and financial information. Therefore, it’s necessary to have secure protocols to protect user data travelling between a web browser and a website. Today, Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) helps maintain user privacy by encrypting data (you may have noticed it as the little green padlock in the top corner of your web browser).
HTTPS verifies the identity of each party through the use of digital certificates. That way, we are certain that the site we are communicating with is authentic and that there is no one intercepting the data between us. This level of security is vital if your website deals with financial information but it is also important even if you only deal with personal data like emails. HTTPS can prevent anyone, whether they are malicious attackers or legitimate companies, from exploiting or tampering with your website’s communication and your users’ browsers.
Web browsers like the popular Chrome will be marking all HTTP pages as not secure as of July 2018. What’s more, it is necessary for many of the new web browser features to work properly or at all, so websites without this secure protocol will be very limited. In addition, your Google SEO rankings and organic traffic will also be affected since Google uses it as one of its ranking factors. As a result, if your website or landing page does not have HTTPS, your search engine visibility and customer trust will suffer.
Another benefit of HTTPS is that it enables technologies that speed up the user experience like the new performance-enhancing web protocol HTTP/2. Moreover, it must be used by all click-measuring URLs in AdWords’ speed-enhancing parallel tracking feature and as of October 30, 2018, parallel tracking will become the only method for click measurement. Therefore, it is needed for all Tracking URLs.
Checking to see if your website supports HTTPS is very simple. As we mentioned before, if you see the green lock icon to the left of the URL then it supports it and is considered secure. If the lock icon is not there, you can re-enter your website URL with “https://” instead of “http://”, but if it fails to load, then your website does not support it. In the case your website does not support HTTPS then you need to contact your webmaster or the administrator of your CMS platform.