2017 was a huge year for website encryption. At the beginning of the year, roughly 46% of all websites on the Internet were encrypted with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). That percentage has leapt to over 60% since September and continues to increase every day (source: Firefox Telemetry). This increase is not by accident but by design.
Numerous highly influential companies, including Google and Mozilla (FireFox), have made website encryption a priority. Specifically, they’re pushing for more sites to use SSL, a security protocol that provides privacy and data integrity to communications sent over a network
(in this case, the Internet).
How SSL Benefits Websites and Their Visitors
The obvious reason for protecting a website’s information is to keep it away from unauthorized users. But implementing SSL on a website has many other benefits, such as:
- Increases site speed (allows for use of HTTPS/2, a new network protocol)
- Helps prevent website hacks, stolen passwords and theft of other important information
- Provides site visitors with peace of mind, building brand trust and loyalty
No Excuses: Now is the Time to Upgrade to SSL
In the past, sites often wouldn’t bother purchasing SSL because it was difficult and costly to install. Not so anymore. Recent advancements in technology have made installation much quicker and, if a web host supports Let’s Encrypt, the certificate itself is now free, automated, and open. There’s no longer an excuse for a website not to be secure! In fact, the new standard for building websites is to automatically enable SSL instead of installing it later.
Knowing If SSL is Needed, or If It’s Already There
A quick way to discover if a site is secure is to check its website address (URL). All URL’s start with “http,” but if the site is secure, the URL will start with “https” – note the “s”. Additionally, a green lock should be visible to the left of the address bar. If there’s no green lock, then it’s time to get an SSL!