Google has been making a big push towards security in the last two years. They’ve urged website owners to protect their visitor data by installing an SSL certificate, and forcing their traffic to use https. Using the https protocol encrypts all data being sent to and from you website to your visitors. Starting in the next few months, Google is further pushing security by making their web browser, Google Chrome, add extra warnings for users.
Google Chrome will now start to flag websites that do not use the HTTPS traffic as not secure, even if there is not any financial information that is being passed through. This means that websites that have simple forms, such as contact information, logins or enewsletter signups, will get flagged as transmitting un-secure data.
While some may argue that this is not necessary, Google’s belief is that secure browsing should be the web standard, irregardless of the sensitivity of the data.
With how easy and affordable it is for website owners to use an SSL certificate, there is fewer and fewer excuses left available to not do so. The switch is relatively easy from http to https, with the only caveat being a slight chance of a short term hit to your SEO. Long term, the change to https is likely good for SEO though.