You’ve probably noticed that certain website have https:// in their URL while others don’t (they simply have http://). So the question is, what is HTTPS and does HTTPS really matter for your association? The answer is absolutely YES.
HTTPS vs. HTTP
We won’t get into the details of every difference, but it’s easy to keep them straight by telling yourself that the “S” in HTTPS stands for Secure. It’s a secure layer that encrypts everything.
If you’re using a website that doesn’t have that all-important “S”, hackers can see everything. The communications between the visitor and the website are in plain text, including credit card numbers, passwords, social security data, etc. Sites that are secure actually encrypt data. So, if a hacker gets in, they still won’t be able to access any data.
Websites should be protected with HTTPS, even if they don’t handle sensitive communications. Hackers can gain information by scanning aggregate behaviors of users before quickly dismissing your site as too small to be a target. Bear in mind that most interceptions are done electronically without a human deciding who is attacked.
Why does having an HTTPS URL matter to an association?
- It’s a requirement for many browser features.
- Your site visitors’ information is encrypted, and therefore more secure.
- Many users are more comfortable making purchases and sharing their personal information online when visiting secured sites.
- Google Chrome displays warnings anytime that a user visits a site that is not using HTTPS. Therefore, if your site is not secured, your site visitors will get a warning message anytime they access your site.
- Google ranks HTTPS sites more favorably. Converting your site to HTTPS will, therefore, improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- HTTPS is the future of the internet
- You owe it to your members to maintain data integrity and strong security for personal information.
So how do you get that S in your association’s URL?
You need an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate works to create an encrypted connection between your visitor’s browser and the server.
As explained by GoDaddy.com, think of an SSL certificate as a giant windshield for when you drive on the information super-highway. You wouldn’t head out on your local freeway — especially at night in a rural area — without something between you and all the bugs.
In much the same way, an SSL certificate protects your site — and its visitors — from many digital bugs, worms, and other nasty web creatures.
There are many providers of SSL certificates. GrowthZone can help our customers obtain and enable SSL certificates. Simply reach out to our support department for help.
Sources: GoDaddy, Wix, Google, Bright Local
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