Google to issue ‘Not Secure’ warnings for contact forms without Security Certificates

Google is making changes to protect privacy. What you need to know as a website owner.

Google is making changes to protect privacy. What you need to know as a website owner.

Google has made an important announcement that website owners should be aware of, so we wanted to pass it along.

Starting in October, the Chrome web browser will start giving a warning on web pages that have a contact form unless you have a security certificate set up with your site.

What’s a security certificate you ask? A security certificate is used to encrypt the information that travels between the computer (or cell phone, or tablet) the user is on and the computer your website is hosted on. Without one it is possible for hackers to intercept the data and see what’s in it.

What that means is your site needs to resolve to https://yoursite.com rather than http://yoursite.com (the “s” after the http is the key part) or the warning will be displayed once people try to contact you.

One might think that it isn’t a big deal because you aren’t transmitting any sensitive information with a contact form (such as credit card numbers). That is partially true, but issues of trust arise when a browser displays a warning about a site, regardless of how innocuous that warning is. It can lead to confusion and mistrust from your site’s visitors.

Since Google Chrome has over 50% of the market share in the browser world, this will affect a large portion of your site traffic.

Google is making the change to help protect people’s privacy, which is a very valid effort. The downside is that it might scare some people away when they are interested in making contact with you.

Google’s Notice:
Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.
The new warning is part of a long term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP as “not secure”.

Our Recommendation:

We are recommending that all of our clients have a security certificate installed for all of the domains that resolve to a page with a contact form.
The yearly cost is relatively low and there is an added bonus in regard to your page ranking with search engines. Both Bing and Google give sites a slight bump in page ranking if they have a security certificate installed.
If you’d like to ensure that your site doesn’t give Google Chrome users a warning, contact us today and we can get the process started.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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