Google Chrome to issue a warning to users when they land on an insecure page
Google announced back in 2014 their intention to push towards a more secure web by highlighting in the Google Chrome browser when a website does not load over a secure connection. This is a great step for keeping people more secure as they browse – but something many businesses are not yet aware of.
You’ll probably be familiar with secure web pages when you go to checkout from an online store. The website address will start with ‘https’, and your browser will usually display a small padlock to show you that there’s a secure connection between your computer and the website. Google want this to become the norm for all web pages, not just store checkout pages.
This month Google implemented the first stage of those plans. The Chrome browser (which accounts for over 70% of the desktop browser market) will now explicitly inform users when a web page is not secure; a step further than the current default of only highlighting secure web pages. The important thing to note though is that Google intends to go even further and visually flag these insecure web pages with a red warning indicator. Where Google lead, expect other browsers to follow.
Why does it matter?
So, when prospective students or carers visit your website you want to reassure them that it’s a safe place and the domain is your official website. This is particularly important when redirecting visitors from external sources; such as social media posts or advertising campaigns. It is crucial that these visitors know that they will be giving their details to the correct business and in a secure manner.
Google’s intended insecure web page warning indicator does not help with visitor reassurance and could end up affecting your conversion rates. You want to avoid visitors questioning if they have landed on a safe website.
How do I know if I need to take action?
The key element to look out for is what happens when a visitor navigates to your website, using an insecure address starting with ‘http://’ (notice the lack of ‘s’ for secure). If, when visiting your site in this way, you’re redirected to a secure version and the address bar of your browser changes to start with ‘https://’ with the little padlock, then most likely you won’t need to take any further action.
You can see this on our website. Even when navigating to the insecure address ‘http://netnatives.com’ all visitors should be redirected to the secure https://netnatives.com.
What do we need to do now?
If you don’t think your website redirects all pages to a secure version by default then speak to your IT or web team; making sure they are aware of Google’s changes. They should be able to take it from there and hopefully make sure all visitors land on the secure web pages by default, avoiding any browser warning indicator.
There is also good news for those of you utilising Akero for your landing pages and forms, by default Akero will serve pages using a secure connection so you won’t need to make any changes.
Speak to one of our Natives if you have any questions regarding your current website.