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Should I switch from HTTP to HTTPS right now?

From next month, Chrome 62 will show a “not secure” warning to users who enter text in a form on a HTTP page, and to all users who visit a HTTP page in incognito mode. This is just the latest in many reasons why you should secure your website with HTTPS.

Beginning January 2017, Google Chrome 56 started showing a warning for unencrypted sites that collect passwords or credit card information, labelling them as “not secure”. And from October 2017, Chrome 62 will show a not secure warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages when the user is in Incognito mode. According to Google, this is part of a “long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure”.

“A web with ubiquitous HTTPS is not the distant future. It’s happening now, with secure browsing becoming standard for users of Chrome,” say Chrome’s security team.

While people ignore security alerts 87% of the time, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to ignore an alert like this one:

That’s how Google Chrome is planning to label HTTP pages.

Why is Google doing this? Because despite the many benefits of switching to HTTPS, many site owners haven’t done so.

For a while now, Google and other search engines have been on a mission to make the web more secure. Google has already taken action in this direction by announcing HTTPS as a ranking signal and indexing secure pages over unsecured pages. They’ve even published a guide on securing your website with HTTPS, which we encourage everyone to read.

Yet with all this push towards a more secure web, stats don’t lie – less than 0.1% of websites are secure.

On the other hand, HTTPS dominates Chrome browsing. Figures from Google’s Transparency Report show that worldwide the percentage of pages loaded over HTTPS on Chrome on all platforms has surpassed 50%, up from 40% in mid-2015. On Chrome OS the figure is 68%.

So there’s more work to be done, which explains Chrome’s action to get non-secure sites to migrate to HTTPS.

If you’re feeling intimidated by the prospect of switching to HTTPS, contact us and we will help you.


About the Author:

A web designer since 1996, I am based in Harrogate North Yorkshire, UK and work with clients locally, nationally and internationally.