October deadline for SSL Certificates – What Does This Mean For Your Website?

By the end of October all websites that include any kind of text input are required to have an SSL certificate to avoid users seeing a ‘not secure’ warning. This is all part of the Google initiative to help users browse the web safely.

The upcoming update that will be applied to the Google Chrome web browser includes a requirement for an SSL certificate on any page that contains a contact form, quick quote form or any kind of text input. Without it, users of the Chrome browser will be warned that the page is not secure.

Once applied your web address will begin with “https://” rather than the standard “http://” – and will mean you avoid visitors to your website seeing the following:

ssl certificate not secure

What’s an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and once introduced will create an encrypted link between any website and its hosting server. This ensures that any data that passes between them is secure.

Previously webmasters were only required to introduce an SSL certificate for websites that gathered sensitive information such as payment details and passwords. However, Google are about to introduce a new level of web security which effects any website that contains any kind of text input – such as your contact and enquiry forms.

Without introducing an SSL certificate, the worry is websites will take a serious hit in the level of customer enquiries they receive, and a reduced level of trust in web security, which will result in potential customers avoiding your website. Interest users are becoming savvy to the little padlock symbol which shows a website is secure, a valid SSL certificate will automatically make this visible.

In May 2018 The Law Is Changing

From 25th May 2018, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force. The new regulations are complex but include clear rulings on the online transfer of any personal data.

By this date all data transfers must be encrypted by law, not just to comply with a Google safe guarding initiative. This includes contact form submissions, email subscriptions and even data passed from Google Analytics.

These new data protection laws are a big deal which you will hear about a lot – if you process any kind of personal data online you will not be able to ignore it.

What You Need To Do

As yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your website have any kind of text input, this includes contact forms, search boxes or login pages?
  2. Does your web address start with http:// in the address bar?

If you’ve answered yes to both these questions you need to act quickly.

SSL certificates are available through your web hosting provider, usually for an annual fee, though the actual cost can vary. Your first port of call is definitely to contact your website hosts who should be able to guide you in the right direction.

We’ll be contacting any website owners who use our hosting service soon to advise their best course of action, but if you need any help or have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact our team.