Video Series: Why You Need an SSL Certificate for Your Website

Web browsers are cracking down on website security. By July 2018, all sites without an SSL certificate will be flagged as not secure by Google Chrome, and more browsers will follow. Our website consultant, Brent Haeseker explains why these certificates are important and how to go about choosing the right one for your business.


Full Transcription:

Brent Haeseker: Hi, Brent Haeseker here. And today I want to talk to you about a recent announcement that Google made last week about SSL certificates and site security. Basically they released an article last week indicating that all websites that are not using SSL certificate will by the month of July of this year will start showing a not secure message in the browser. Now we kind of already knew that Google was going this direction. It’s something that they’ve been kind of prepping everybody for a while. They’ve been showing more and more warnings in the in their browser , the Chrome browser over time. I’ll kind of show you some of those warnings that are happening now, and what the new warnings are going to look like and you’re probably wondering well why is Google doing this? The main goal for them is to make the Internet more secure. That’s their end goal so they are kind of forcing this issue. If you remember a couple of years back in 2015 Google had that push to make all Web sites mobile responsive mobile friendly. They dubbed it the “mobilegeddon” in the news because everyone was paranoid and panicked that oh my gosh are websites aren’t going to work on Google anymore unless we hurry and make our websites mobile friendly. It was kind of a bold push by Google. Yes but in the end it did make things better if you’re using a smartphone to view the internet.

You’ll definitely appreciate websites that are mobile friendly now versus ones that are not, and actually there’s still a lot of people who don’t have mobile from websites if you don’t. That’s definitely something that you have to fix because that was three years ago that that happened and more than half of the users that are going online and doing searches on Google are on mobile devices they’re not actually on a desktop computer. And where these issues are happening is in the Chrome browser. And when I look at web site stats for most websites now Google Analytics and different tools like that. I’m actually seeing that at least 50 percent or more of the business that you can actually see what browsers the users are using. I’m seeing over 50 percent of people are using the Google browser. You might think don’t use Google why what does it matter to me. Well actually it matters a lot because if you’ve got a business website, then more than half of the people out there are using a Google browser to view your Web site. If you don’t have an SSL certificate and now that Google browsers start showing hey the site is not secure that could be an issue for you because people are going to panic and think Oh no I need to leave this website I might get a virus or something. So it is a big deal. And also most of the other browsers are following suit here. Firefox has kind of been doing a lot of the same thing that Google’s doing. And even Microsoft Edge browser is starting to show some warnings on their are browsers too.

So basically everybody’s going to be doing this Google’s just kind of leading the charge. So you definitely want to do that so you know since Google’s been kind of making this is a wave that they’ve been making for a while now we’ve been recommending to our customers that if they don’t have SSL certificates that they get one. We’ve been doing that for a while now. And so let’s take a look at what exactly we’re talking about by these warnings because you’re probably thinking how have an SSL certificate and my site works fine in Google. Yeah that’s true. It still will work in Google but you’re going to see some warning signs that will display. I’ve got a screenshot I can line it up here for you what the current warning so to speak looks like here. There we go. Currently it just shows this little icon here in the browser and if you click on that, it’ll drop down and say warning the site isn’t secure. Well now what they’re going to do is after July 2018 of this year you’ll not just see this little icon but you also see next to it not secure so that they will be displayed right there. So you know again your side’s going to work but it’s going to display this warning and probably over time Google will make further changes that will further create some issues and things that you have to update and adjust if your site is not secure so go ahead and get this done if you don’t have it n ow also how do you actually tell if your Web site is secure or not right now say might not know if your site is using an SSL certificate or not.

It’s pretty easy to do if you just go to any browser, type in your website address but start it off with H T T P colon. Forward slash forward slash and then WWW. whatever your website address is. If that website address redirects and also it changes in the address bar to show H T T P S colon forward Slash forward Slash then your domain name. Then you’ve got an SSL certificate on your website. If it doesn’t redirect to HTTPS then it’s not secure. And here’s an example what it will look like. This is just a random site I pulled off the internet. If you’ve got a SSL certificate. See in the top there it’s showing secure HTTPS forward Slash forward slash then whatever the URL is. So that’s how you can tell. You might say hey I’ve got an SSL certificate because I’ve got an e-commerce website so I’m selling stuff online, I already have an SSL certificate. This doesn’t apply to me. Well actually it might because even though you’ve got an SSL certificate on your website you may only have it on your checkout pages and if that’s the case then the rest of your site is going to show this warning message. And so usually the best way to find out if your whole site is not secure even though you do have an SSL certificate is the go to one of your non checkout pages usually the home page are about us page or something like that on your website.

Go to HTTP colon forward slash forward Slash and see if it redirects to that HTTPS If it doesn’t then that page is not a secure website or if you just go to the page and if you don’t see HTTPS. At the beginning of the domain name then you knew that particular page is not secure. It’s pretty easy fix SSL certificate that’s great. It’s an easy fix to do is just making all the pages on your website secure instead of just the checkout page. So it’s an easy fix if you get an e-commerce website you already have an SSL. It’s just making sure your whole website is being secured by that SSL. Now if you don’t have an SSL. There’s also good news because it’s a pretty easy fix to do that as well. It’s just a process of acquiring an SSL having your developer install that for you. What we offer for our customers is we typically use a DigiCert SSL certificate it’s a higher end SSL certificate we purchase on customer’s behalf. We install it on their website take care of everything for them. But if you’re looking for a different alternative because there’s a wide variety of SSLs out there if you’re shopping around you’ll see some that are free. You’ll see some that are low cost. But of course you sometimes get what you pay for and typically get what you pay for so if you’re using a free SSL for your business website would not recommend that if you’ve got a blog website where you’re blogging about your cats.

It’s probably okay to use a free SSL but I wouldn’t use one for business website. With the DigiCert SSl that we use, we use that one because it has a higher level of validation. Its better suited for business oriented websites. You also don’t have to renew it as frequently. A lot of the free and cheap SSLs you have to renew every few months or so. It’s a bit more of a hassle. Also the DigiCert SSL it’s going to offer support and warranties whereas a lot of the cheaper ones are not going to be able to offer that. So yes there are options for SSLs, a lot of options out there, but don’t just run out and grab the first cheap one you see if you’ve got a business website. Make sure that its going to be up to the task for what you need it to be. if you need any assistance on SSLs, if you’ve got any questions about it, give us a call here at Netsource. You can reach us at 1 800 709 3240 , and again I’m Brent with Netsource, website consultant here, and thank you for watching, God bless ya!