Google has announced that the their web browser, Google Chrome – will be blocking mixed content in December 2019. Earlier this year, Google Chrome also began to flag websites that are insecure, putting a banner to the left of the website address, warning visitors the website is insecure.
Although it has become a standard in recent years – we still find small business websites that are not secure. While it’s no longer an expensive or complicated task to secure a website, there is a knowledge gap that keeps business owners from protecting their site. We’ll cover what an unsecured website is, what a secured website is, what mixed content is, how to check your website for mixed content, and how to secure your website if it is unsecure.
Why should I secure my business website?
There are actually many benefits to securing your business website. First and foremost, by your business website not being secure, you may be losing customers. The image below shows what your website would display if it is not secure in the near future. If you were visiting a website, would you stay on it and potentially do business if you saw this?
Secondly – having a secured website will actually give your business a small boost when it comes to Google search engine results. Lastly, it boosts visitors confidence knowing that your website is secure.
What is an unsecured connection (not secure)?
Whenever you visit a website from a device (smartphone, desktop, tablet, laptop, etc) you are creating a connection between your device and the server in which the website is located on. As you begin to browse the website your device and the server are in communication – with data be transmitted in both directions. If the connection is unsecured, the data being transmitted back and forth is sent in plain text. Meaning if someone or something were to intercept the communication between the server and your device, the information would be easily visible.
What is a secure connection?
In a secured connection, the premise is the same when it comes to communication between your device and the server. The difference is, the data within that connection is encrypted. Meaning that if the information was intercepted, it could not easily be read. This is possible via a certificate called an SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) that is installed on your website server.
What is mixed content?
It is possible – even with an SSL certificate installed on your website server (secure connection) – that portions of data are still being transmitted unsecured via your website. This is where Google Chrome’s update in December comes in. In your websites coding there are references to resources the website will be using (images, links, etc) – mixed content refers to those resources being called upon in an unsecured manner. Google Chrome will eventually block those resources from loading, to protect the website visitor.
Will my business website be affected? How to check my business website for mixed content.
The first order of business would be to determine if your website is currently using an SSL certificate. The easiest way is to simply go to your website and see if you see a lock next to your website address. If you do, your using an SSL certificate – if you’re not, you won’t see the lock or see the “NOT SECURE” banner (depending on your browser). If you have determined that your business website is not using an SSL certificate, we highly recommend that you have one installed (see below). The “NOT SECURE” banner that is placed next to your website address is lackluster and could be scaring website visitors away.
If your website is using an SSL certificate – you can use this tool to check your website for mixed content.
My business website has mixed content, now what do I do?
Again, if your website has mixed content – it means that your website is using an SSL certificate, but some resources on your website are being called upon in an unsecure method. If your business website is using WordPress, there are a ton of plugins that will automatically scan your website and fix this. If your website is built using a website builder or other software, check with the company that provides it. Many of them have a setting or a plugin that will automatically correct this. If your website is manually coded or your website builder does not have a way to fix this, you will have to manually edit the coding of the pages.
I need help securing or fixing mixed content on my business website!
We understand that as a business owner, you may not have the time or ability to fix this issue yourself – and Kingdom Data is here to help! If your website is currently unsecure and does not use an SSL certificate, we can install one for you and ensure your business website has no mixed content. If your business website currently has an SSL certificate, but also has mixed content – we will review the website and fix the unsecure content. In either case, we can have either issue resolved within 24 hours!