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Google Chrome & Secure or Not-Secure Browsing

By Glenn Cowan

Readers of the last article will recall that we covered some upcoming changes that relate to the way that Facebook shows information to people who like pages. If you missed this then don’t worry you can catch the by going to The Pattaya Trader website pattayatrader.com and clicking the Business page.

This time however, we will take a look at the other powerhouse of information, aka Google. Their Chrome browser gets updated on a regular basis, security fixes and user experience improvements roll out at a fairly reasonable rate. At the time of writing this article users of Chrome, which account for close to 60% of all internet search activity, will be using 65.0.3325.162 (assuming they use the very latest version). To give you an idea of how widely used Google Chrome is, in 2015 there were over a billion people relying on it as their main web-browser.

What is Secure Browsing?

Put simply, secure browsing protects the channel between your webs browser and the website that you are visiting. This means that no one is able to tamper with the traffic or indeed spy on what you are doing. Without encryption, someone with access to your ISP or router could easily intercept your data and steal it. If you recall any time that you have visited the likes of booking.com or other major sites which offer a check-out facility, these are all encrypted to protect your data.

Back in the day, encrypting a website was a big task; however, as with most technology, things have become easier and can be done quite quickly.

Chrome v(68)

In July Google will be rolling out Chrome (v)68. While this might not sound too exciting it does indeed provide a significant change to what users see in the URL bar area.

Who cares? You could be forgiven for asking….

Currently when you visit a fully secured site (these are the ones that are prefixed with https) in the URL bar you will see that there is a little Green padlock and the word “Secure” in green text immediately prior to the website URL.This means that any data that you provide, payment information, contact details etc is encrypted so that the info can never be seen by prying eyes.

So when you are booking a room or ordering something online, or even just sending some form of contact request your information is…. ….secure! To, sum it up, if you are seeing the word secure in the URL bar area then the site you are visiting uses https encryption (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and also benefits from the communication protocol being encrypted by TLS (Transport Layer Security) or as it had previously been known SSL (Secure Socket Layers).

Not-Secure

When the v(68) of Chrome comes you will see a change to what’s shown. Rather than focusing on the sites that are secure, Google is going to hi-light the sites that are “not-secure”. This will let the visitor know that the information that they are providing is at risk and as detailed above, could fall into the wrong hands.

So, from July all of the traffic that visitors an unsecured website will see this and be potentially steered away from staying on line.

Big Impact

Just imagine the impact on your business if a percentage of your visitors exited your site at this time.You have worked hard on advertising, maybe with Google AdWords or another form of PPC or spent ages getting your site to rank organically for the top value queries in your industry, only to find that 50%, 60%, 70% of your website visitors just click the back-button as soon as they arrive.

What sort of impact might that have to your business?

Thankfully, offering a secure online experience to your website visitors is a relatively easy fix.

Unless you are a seasoned webmaster with a very small website, you might want to pass over the task to whoever is taking care of your website maintenance. If you don’t have a person to do this, then someone like Voova Digital are well equipped to host and maintain your site as well as handle the intricacies of making your compliant.

Given the numbers above, it is fair to say that close to two-thirds of site your website traffic is being delivered by Google Chrome. Can you really afford to take the risk that a high percentage of these visitors are going to be put-off from using your website? If you weren’t already aware of the big change from Chrome then this post has opened your eyes to what needs doing.

Want to know more about this, feel free to reach out to me, I normally hang out on glenncowan@voovagroup.com

Got an idea for an upcoming article, let me know and I’ll try my best to cover it.

Till the next time happy surfing, folks!