How confident are you in your website? You might have laboured over the design, optimised it for keyword searches, and ensured its content was tightly focused. However, how a browser labels your site may make a huge difference to its success.
The Google Chrome browser will mark certain sites as not secure if they do not have secure encryption. It requires some form of HTTPS encryption for all sites that collect sensitive information.
However, Google has also decided to stop trusting certain encrypted certificates. Anyone browsing using Google Chrome will see a notice warning them a site is unsafe if it has the kind of encryption Google no longer trusts.
According to Computerworld, around 60% of people browsing the internet currently use Google Chrome.
Website Security Certification and Google Chrome
“HTTP is the standard protocol over which data is sent, between your browser and the website you’re connecting to,” Lucy Atkins, Creative Director of Infused Media, explains further. “There is also a secure version, HTTPS, that encrypts all communications. Many websites handling sensitive, personal and confidential data, such as online banking sites, use an encrypted certificate.”
One of the companies issuing these certificates is Symantec. It is these Symantec SSL and TSL certificates that Google has decided are no longer trustworthy.
“Even if your website security certificate came via an intermediate organisation, if Symantec is the root provider, you’ll still get a warning posted on your site”, says Lucy. “It’ll happen for anyone using the version of Google’s Chrome browser issued in April 2017.”
While all SSL certificates provide an industry-standard level of encryption, they can offer different levels of authentication, depending on which one you choose.
As Lucy points out, the consequences for those websites using Symantec-issued SSL and TSL certificates could be grave.
“The potential impact on businesses with this certification is huge. A loss of trust means a loss of business, even though it is through no fault of their own”
Protecting Your Brand Online
While the Google Chrome changes essentially reflect a dispute between two organisations, it is numerous online businesses who face the fallout.
“Online reputational management requires diligence, including ensuring your website accurately represents your brand values, and your approach to customer care,” suggests Lucy. “What these browser changes demonstrate is that challenges can arise unexpectedly and remotely, but with consequences that hit close to home.”
“Previously, Google had encouraged owners of websites to install secure certificates, switching from HTTP to HTTPS. Now, however, it will also be a question of websites having the right kind of security certification”
There are different validation levels for SSL certificates:
- Domain Validation
- Organisation Validation
- Extended Validation
There are cost and administrative implications that come with them but, for many businesses, it is a price worth paying.
“If trust is crucial to your business, then you must ensure that your website’s certification won’t be labelled as unsafe by Google Chrome”
While it’s true that people use other browsers, and that not all certificates are subject to this change, you should seek professional guidance from your Technical Support .
Alternatively, call Infused Media on 01254 447050, if if you are at all unsure.