For unsecured law firm websites, the time may have come to make the upgrade to an HTTPS site. Google will soon mark all HTTP sites with a notification advising users that the site is “not secure.” Previously, HTTP sites were displayed with a neutral information icon; however, that icon will be replaced with an additional notification appearing in the address bar once version 68 of Chrome is released. By comparison, HTTPS sites are marked with a secure sign and green lock icon.
For the last several years, Google has been slowly warning users to avoid unencrypted sites by down-ranking those sites and issuing a warning for password fields that were not encrypted. Now, Google is stepping up those warnings. According to the team behind Chrome, the move was spurred on by increased adoption of HTTPS. Today, the majority of the top 100 websites automatically default to HTTPS.
Why HTTPS Is So Important
Wondering what the big fuss is about? It’s all about encryption. HTTPS sites are encrypted, which means there is a layer of protection between the website a user visits and their browser. This ensures that no one can spy on what a user is doing or even tamper with a website’s traffic. Therefore, this level of encryption is beneficial for both website owners and search engine users. Without this important level of encryption, it’s entirely possible that someone could gain access to your ISP or router and inject malware or even intercept information. Obviously, that’s a frightening thought, which is why Google’s Chrome team is taking this so seriously.
Automated services have also made it much easier to implement HTTPS, meaning there is less reason not to adopt this security measure. In fact, Google is advising site administrators that have yet to implement HTTPS to move quickly. If your law firm has yet to make that change and is still dragging its feet about doing so, you could quickly find that many visitors to your website might no longer trust it due to the change. It may also prove difficult to attract new prospects to an unsecured site. If a visitor is already unfamiliar with your firm, a warning from their browser that they’re visiting an unencrypted site certainly won’t help. As you know, building trust and maintaining your online reputation, is essential for attracting and retaining clients.
Along with ensuring that visitors to your site actually trust it, making the migration to HTTPS can provide law firm websites with several other incredible benefits. For instance, some updates are only supported with HTTPS. Additionally, you might even find that your website receives a ranking boost once you make the migration.
If you’ve been on the fence about making the change to your website, this just might be the encouragement you need to go ahead and make the migration. Let us know if you need help or have other questions in implementing this change.