We regularly warn our clients to check a website’s credentials before trusting it, especially if you’re shopping or downloading content. As you might already know, the prefix “https” in a site’s URL indicates that it is authentic and secure. But because all URLs begin with “http”, the issue can get a bit confusing.

“Https” simply indicates that the website owner has installed an SSL Certificate on the website.  This provides secure, encrypted communications between the website and an internet browser. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, the protocol which provides the encryption.

It is noteworthy that not all “http” sites are bad, and you don’t need to avoid these sites completely.  If you are familiar with the company that owns the site, then chances are good that you are safe.  However, if a site is asking for personal information such as a credit card or payment information, always look for the “https” before proceeding.

Google has become more proactive in warning its users as well and is issuing many security changes to its upcoming release of Chrome 68. If you’re a Chrome user, you should pay attention to these changes.

Beginning in July of this year, along with the release of its latest version of the Chrome browser, Google will be marking all “http” websites as “not secure”. This transition has been a long time coming, and Google has already made significant progress in this area. Consider these stats:

  • More than 68 percent of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is currently protected
  • More than 78 percent of Chrome traffic on Chrome OS and Mac is protected
  • 81 of the top 100 sites on the Web are using “https” by default, setting an example for more to follow

Chrome is also aiming to make it easier for sites to upgrade to “https”, meaning more of your favorite websites will soon be able to transition to the more secure format.

You might already see the “not secure” designation on some websites that you visit, but the change should be fully implemented by July. If you’re a Chrome user, either via your desktop computers or mobile devices, remember to install the latest and safest version of Chrome 68 when it is released this summer.

Again, there isn’t a need to avoid all non-https websites, but you must be careful before submitting information on any site that is not https.

And remember, using secure websites is just one of MANY internet security measures you should be taking. Continue to be careful with email attachments, communicate proper protocol to employees, and make sure that you’re using a safe network. We can help with that last part: Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH, and we can help you ensure that your network is properly secured.