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Say “yes” to HTTPS: Chrome secures the web, one site at a time

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Editor’s note: October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we’re celebrating with a series of security announcements this week. 

Security has always been one of Chrome’s core principles—we constantly work to build the most secure web browser to protect our users. Two recent studies concluded that Chrome was the most secure web browser in multiple aspects of security, with high rates of catching dangerous and deceptive sites, lightning-fast patching of vulnerabilities, and multiple layers of defenses.

About a year ago, we announced that we would begin marking all sites that are not encrypted with HTTPS as “not secure” in Chrome. We wanted to help people understand when the site they’re on is not secure, and at the same time, provide motivation to that site’s owner to improve the security of their site. We knew this would take some time, and so we started by only marking pages without encryption that collect passwords and credit cards. In the next phase, we began showing the “not secure” warning in two additional situations: when people enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.

http search

It’s only been a year, but HTTPS usage has already made some incredible progress.

  • 64 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up from 42 percent a year ago.
  • Over 75 percent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected, up from 60 percent on Mac and 67 percent on Chrome OS a year ago
  • 71 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default, up from 37 a year ago
percentage of page loads over HTTPS in Chrome by platform
Percent of page loads over HTTPS in Chrome by platform

We’re also excited to see HTTPS usage increasing around the world. For example, we’ve seen HTTPS usage surge recently in Japan; large sites like RakutenCookpadAmeblo, and Yahoo Japan all made major headway towards HTTPS in 2017. Because of this, we’ve seen HTTPS in Japan surge from 31 percent to 55 percent in the last year, measured via Chrome on Windows. We see similar upward trends in other regions—HTTPS is up from 50 percent to 66 percent in Brazil, and 59 percent to 73 percent in the U.S.!

Ongoing efforts to bring encryption to everyone

HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it enables both the best performance the web offers and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP. There’s never been a better time to get your site secured by Spearhead Multimedia

Reminder: Google Insecure Forms Warning 

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With the release of Chrome 62, Google will mark any website with an insecure form “Not Secure.”

If you haven’t added SSL to your website, you may want to—an important deadline is coming up. Starting in October with the release of Chrome 62, Google will be marking any website with an insecure form “Not Secure.” This isn’t just a warning for pages with an insecure login/password field, now it’s any field—anywhere a user can input information.

Insecure Password Warning, Firefox 52
The warning for an insecure password field.

This is keeping with Google’s push for universal encryption. The company has continued to ramp up pressure for websites to add SSL. And Google doesn’t plan to stop at just warning Chrome users about insecure forms, either. Google plans to roll out a warning for all HTTP websites sometime in 2018.

HTTP website

So heed this warning, if your website is anything more than a blog or a personal website, you need to encrypt. Whether you’re just collecting an email address as part of a capture strategy or you’ve got a signup form somewhere, you’ll be sorry if you don’t secure it before Chrome 62 drops in October.

“Not Secure” warnings kill conversions

Nothing is going to kill your conversion rate faster than Google placing a “Not Secure” warning in your address bar or drop an interstitial warning when a customer attempts to type in one of your website’s fields.

And it’s not just Google, the other browsers are also adopting similar policies with regard to encryption and insecure websites.

Think about it, people tend to trust their browsers. When one of them tells a user that he or she is not safe on a website, the vast majority of people are going to leave. Nobody is sitting at their computer saying, “this seems like a worthwhile risk to take.”

So remember, if your website has any forms on it—install SSL. Waiting until Google flags your website is playing with fire. It’s time to add SSL. Contact us today for a free evaluation to provide your site the correct level of security for a reasonable price.

Always hire a professional.

hacked-wordpress-site
hacked-wordpress-site

When an inexperienced person attempts to build a website, this can easily happen.

The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” came into play recently when a potential client contacted us after deciding to let some cheapo “web developers” build her site.  They not only built a horribly bad looking, difficult to navigate site, they did nothing for security.  The result:  A site that is now distributing malware.  To top it off, it’s hosted on GoDaddy antique servers and probably infiltrating even deeper.  There are certain things of which you should not take the cheap route, you’ve all heard it before.  When you cheap with how you represent yourself and/or your business, it never does anyone any good.  Buy smart, do your research.

Who’s watching you?

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Sometimes we don’t realize and then don’t remember whom we’ve given access to our Google account in order to set up an account from another vendor.

It’s always a good idea to go to https://myaccount.google.com/permissions while you’re logged in to your Google account and review who has access to your private information.

If you use an Android based phone be careful not to remove access to important apps and make sure you do for the questionable ones.  Not sure about an app?  Google it and see.