It's no secret that Google has been encouraging all website owners to convert to HTTPS, and we also started recommending HTTPS upgrades to REW clients back in 2014. But the stakes are getting higher and Google will be upping the ante next month.
Here's the announcement Emily Schechter of Chrome's Security Team made in a recent blog post:
"In January, we began our quest to improve how Chrome communicates the connection security of HTTP pages. Chrome now marks HTTP pages as “Not secure” if they have password or credit card fields. Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the “Not secure” warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode."
What Does This Mean For REW Clients?
In a nutshell, it could mean fewer leads for sites that haven't been secured. Any visitor using Chrome who fills out a form on an HTTP site will be served with a "Not secure" warning in the URL. On REW sites, those forms include the registration, inquiry and contact forms, as well as any additional forms you've added to the site.
Exactly how many leads are impacted will depend on what browser your visitors use, but Chrome is one of the most popular choices out there. Looking at August's traffic to RealEstateWebmasters.com, 50.67% of our total traffic visited the site using Chrome.
Individual users are likely to interpret the "Not secure" message differently, depending on their own understanding of website security, and some won't notice or care. However, it's very possible that some users will not be willing to share their private contact info after they see this message, and you'll lose the lead.
How Do I Know If My Site Is Secure?
To check whether your site is currently secure, visit it in any browser and check for the small lock icon beside the URL:
Each browser displays the icon a bit differently, but the symbol is essentially universal across all platforms. If the lock is locked, you're secure. If the lock is missing or unlocked, it's time to secure your site.
How Do I Get HTTPS On My Site?
Implementing HTTPS is a fairly simple process that involves two steps:
2. Submit A Work Order. If you're on REW CRM, email email@example.com with the certificate info and our support team will be happy to set up the SSL certificate on your behalf.
For clients on older versions of the backend platform, there is a $500 set up fee, which requires a simple work order. Contact the sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate this order.