At NameTailor, we believe that updating our customers is just as important as updating our software. Given Google’s drastic campaign to make the web safer at any cost using HTTPS, we don’t settle with the fact that every website we build is secure since day one. We want to show you the “Why?” behind website security. If your website is not secure, we hope by the end of this update you will take action by calling or emailing us for a free assessment and evaluation of your site security and messaging.
To understand the basics of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), we will first talk about how the internet works. The internet is not as complex as it may seem. The basic idea is that the internet is a way for computers to talk to each other. When you are at home on your computer and you navigate your web browser to a website on the internet, your computer is talking to a real computer that exists somewhere else.
This graphic shows these connections between computers via the internet.
Calling computers “clients” and “servers” is just a way to categorize computers on the internet. An easy way to remember this is to picture a restaurant. The server in a restaurant serves many customers, but the customers at different tables often do not interact with each other. Instead of meals like a restaurant server, our server serves web pages. So, your customers computers would be “client” computers and your website is delivered by a “server” computer. The server is happy to give your business website pages to any client that asks.
To explain this further, here’s a real-world example. Let’s say you navigate to google.com on your laptop. Your laptop (the client) will make a request to a computer at Google (the server) and say, “Hello, can I have the homepage please?” and one of Google’s many computers will say “Of course, here it is.” And you will see the familiar Google homepage in your browser.
During this process, computers use something called HTTP to deliver the web page. The problem with HTTP is that the “talking” between the client and the server is not private. A hacker can potentially “listen” in to the client and server communication using a method called sniffing. This diagram shows the hacker’s attack.
HTTPS is different than HTTP. HTTPS uses a process called encryption. Encryption keeps information safe from eavesdroppers.
Going back to our restaurant analogy, imagine encryption as a made-up language that only the restaurant server and a single customer could understand. It would sound like gibberish to the next table over, but the two could complete an order perfectly because they understand each other. This prevents the attack of a hacker because to the hacker the internet traffic looks unintelligible.
Want to be sure you are doing everything you can to keep your sensitive information secure? Contact us for a free audit!
Why does it matter to my business?
1.) Your customers private information can be stolen if your website is not secure.
This isn’t just about protecting your business. Your customers are at risk as well. Customers often browse websites from public networks. Imagine your customers trying to use your website at a coffee shop or airport only to be spied on because your website is not secure. Your customers may send you confidential information in your website contact box or log in to your website and learn that your site has led to leaking personal information about them to an attacker.
2.) “Not secure” websites have warnings that spook customers.
Starting in July of 2018, Google began warning users that websites were not secure. Most users are not aware of what this means and are scared of this warning, meaning many will not even use your website in fear of website security. Below is the much more inviting and trustworthy secure logo that displays when a website is HTTPS enabled.
3.) “Not secure” websites have lower search rankings.
Google has assessed a penalty to “not secure” sites since 2014, but sources say that the company will now increase penalties on sites that aren’t secure more rapidly. As most businesses know, appearing higher in Google search results can make all the difference in attracting customers online. Without a secure site, it will likely become impossible to be a top ranked page.