Your website now needs to have "HTTPS." HTTPS is the standard protocol by which a browser and a website communicate to prove that the information transmitted is secure. It is now more important than ever that your website is labeled as secure: it affects your SEO and keeps your website "trusted."
What is HTTP?
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the way browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, Chrome, communicate with a website. These transmissions are unsecure. Unsecure transmissions can be intercepted by intruders (hackers) and:
- Inject malicious code to your website
- Inject ads to affect the viewer experience (placing unwanted ads on your browser)
- Infect your computer by exploiting cookies, hotspots, ISPs, etc
- Steal information (name, email, credit card, SSN, etc.)
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It was developed in 1994 over concerns about unsecure transmissions. The communications between browser and website are encrypted making it highly unlikely that hackers can intercept information.
HTTPS requires the purchase of an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. The SSL is specific and unique to each website and allows the browser and website to initiate an encryption "handshake" between the browser and your website.
SSL certificates are purchased on an annual basis.
NOTE: There are technically two protocols. While TLS has succeeded SSL, "SSL" is still used because it is the more popular term. For the sake of this article, they are synonyms.
The Green Padlock - Trusted Sites
Most browsers display a green address bar when visiting a secure site.
This assures the viewer that information on the website is legitimate (as published by the website owner) and that any information entered on the website is secure. Websites which are not secure will usually have a yellow or red warning on the address bar.
Starting with the next version of Chrome 62, unsecure sites will be flagged as such, that is, if your website is not HTTPS secure, the browser will actually "flag" and highlight that your site is not HTTPS compliant.
While the adoption of HTTPS has taken years, an HTTPS requirement has been an SEO variable for the past several years. Now, not only will your website not rank as well, but your website will be flagged with a "pop-up" highlighting the fact that your site is not trusted - a huge turnoff for your patients.
How to Obtain SSL
While there are a variety of ways and prices to purchase an SSL, the best, easiest and most efficient use of your time is to purchase an SSL from your hosting provider. Free SSLs exist, but need to be updated every 3 months and not all providers allow outside SSL installation. Proving you are the rightful owner of the website can also add time and work to the process.
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Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing
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