Starting October 2017, Google has announced that it will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page (e.g.: Contact Page form).
Google will also reward sites using HTTPS to rank slightly higher than HTTP websites.
To ensure Google doesn’t serve your website audience a “NOT SECURE” warning from your website, we will need to install a Security Certificate, also known as an SSL. While this is not a mandatory COG Digital advise to have us install an SSL on your website.
Protect your site and your users Secure your site with HTTPSWhat is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connection to your website, regardless of the content on the site.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:
- Encryption—encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
- Data integrity—data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
- Authentication—proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.
Best practices when implementing HTTPS
Use robust security certificates
You must obtain a security certificate as a part of enabling HTTPS for your site. The certificate is issued by a certificate authority (CA), which takes steps to verify that your web address actually belongs to your organization, thus protecting your customers from man-in-the-middle attacks. When setting up your certificate, ensure a high level of security by choosing a 2048-bit key. If you already have a certificate with a weaker key (1024-bit), upgrade it to 2048 bits. When choosing your site certificate, keep in mind the following:
- Get your certificate from a reliable CA that offers technical support.
- Decide the kind of certificate you need:
- Single certificate for single secure origin (e.g.
- Multi-domain certificate for multiple well-known secure origins (e.g.
www.example.com, cdn.example.com, example.co.uk).
- Wildcard certificate for a secure origin with many dynamic subdomains (e.g.
- Single certificate for single secure origin (e.g.
Use server-side 301 redirects
Redirect your users and search engines to the HTTPS page or resource with server-side 301 HTTP redirects.
Verify that your HTTPS pages can be crawled and indexed by Google
- Do not block your HTTPS pages by robots.txt files.
- Do not include meta
noindextags in your HTTPS pages.
- Use Fetch as Google to test that Googlebot can access your pages.
COG Digital provide the service to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
Migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS is easy when you get COG Digital to take care of it for you. Google treats this as a site move with a URL change. This can temporarily affect some of your traffic numbers. COG Digital are specialists in this task and while the move from http to https can temporarily affect some of your traffic numbers, we know how to ensure if there is any SEO activity or investment in your websites links we can take steps to make sure we honour them.
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