Many people with Google Webmaster Tools accounts, will have started to receive emails with this subject line – “Chrome will show security warnings on” and then their website domain name.
The email is alerting people that Google will start placing a warning on websites with any type of input field on them, that do not have an SSL certificate installed. Input fields are on registration forms, email contact forms, newsletter signup forms – basically they have many, many uses.
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.
It looks like the process started back in May, and now Google is formally alerting website owners that they need to take action.
What do you need to do?
This is fairly straight-forward. Install an SSL certificate on your website. Something anyone with an e-commerce website should of had for many years now. An SSL certificate verifies that the site is who/what they claim to be, and encrypts traffic between your browser and you. It is important for the general security of the internet.
How do I install an SSL Certificate?
This is where it can be really easy, or more complicated. A lot depends on your website host – who you pay to have your website online. Many of these offer 1-Click installs for SSL certificates, quite often for free thanks to Lets Encrypt, SSL for Free and other similar services.
Some don’t have this option, or if they do its a chargeable service. You might be quite capable of doing this yourself, you might need some help. Its straightforward, but there are risks if you get things wrong, and you definitely want a good support desk available if you run into trouble. There is also a decision to make as to whether you have a free certificate, that usually needs renewing every 3 months, or a commercial one that you can buy for many years at a time, offers a wildcard, and often provides a warranty for the end user.
Alternatively, you can have someone do all the hard work for you. If you have any questions about installing an SSL certificate on your website and what sort you need, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.