You were probably asked by someone in your IT department if the website is secure or noticed that some of the sites you go to start with “https” instead of your typical “http”.  That added “s” has created a lot of buzz in the web community and with Google voicing their feelings about it, it’s important you understand what it is and decide whether your business should upgrade your site to be more secure.

Many well-known brands and companies have made the move but what about a smaller business who serves customers locally?  Should your small-to-medium sized business move your website to the secure “HTTPS”?  The first step to determining if this is the right move for your business is understanding what it means to have a secure website and what benefits will it bring.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS, standing for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, is the internet standard for secure communication via web browser.  With a website being on HTTP, the information being transferred is essentially open for anyone to see.

what’s different about HTTPS?

The difference is HTTPS uses SSL, which is a security layer that adds end-to-end encryption.  You website is hosted on a server so when a user goes onto a specific website all of the actions taken are communicating back and forth with that server. On a HTTP, the information can be seen by others. When you switch to a HTTPS, the transfer of this data can only be deciphered by the device being used and the server that you’re connecting to.

The Benefits of Switching to HTTPS:

The first benefit of moving your website to HTTPS is privacy.  If a third-party cannot gain access to the transfer of data from device to server, it means they cannot track the activities of consumers on a site and also the information is extremely difficult to steal. These two things give users a more private, worry-free experience while on a website.

Another benefit to having HTTPS is that it boosts consumer confidence. Dealing with a company that makes web security a priority can put consumers at ease when making transactions or filling out forms on a website.  You want to be a business that consumers trust. Trust is the key to building any type of relationship, especially a business to consumer relationship. Having a secure website experience is just one of the ways you can built that trust.

There’s been studies that have shown many websites aren’t switching to HTTPS but as Google makes a secure web more of a priority, it’s inevitable that they will begin pushing sites this direction.   There’s been no real case of this happening but I can definitely see companies that make the first move to transition to a more secure site will have an edge over competitors, especially smaller companies.  You have a lot of large brands switching over, but smaller locally owned companies have a harder time when it comes to the time and resources that needs to be dedicated towards this type of change.

So Should You Make this Change as a Small Business?

I feel that the demand for a more secure web from consumers will have an impact on the way Google treats websites that do not utilize an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).  I always say that small-to-medium sized businesses that are looking to stay ahead of their competitors can easily do that when it comes to technology.   Things like having a great website, an engaging social media presence, and a solid framework of technology systems to back your business is a recipe for success as a small business.  I don’t think the demand for a more secure web is going away anytime soon, which is why if you’re a small business who doesn’t have a site on HTTPS, then maybe now is the time to do make the move.

How to Update Your Website to HTTPS?

If you’re a business that doesn’t know where to start when it comes to upgrading your website to HTTPS, then get help today.  One of the top reasons businesses don’t do this is because it takes time and someone who understands how to make a website secure. There’s many companies or agencies out there that can help you get a more secure website.

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