BRIGHT BITE: What is an SSL Website Certificate & Why Does Your Therapist Website Need One?
In mid-2018, Google made a big announcement on website security that will affect every website without an SSL certificate.1 Google started labeling these unsecured sites as “Not Secure” for its over 1 billion Chrome browser users.
This means anybody who visits a website without an SSL certificate using a Chrome browser (almost 60% of all Internet browsing) and starts to enter personal information will be officially warned in the URL bar that the site they’re on is not safe.2
Google Chrome’s new label for insecure websites
So why is Google doubling-down on SSL website certificates and revamping the label for sites that don’t have one? What are these SSL certificates and why are they important for therapist websites?
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What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate – otherwise known as a “secure sockets layer” certificate – is an electronic document that can be built into a website to secure it.3 The URL of a secure site starts with “https” instead of only “http” or something else.4
An SSL certificate protects information traveling between the website and website visitors by encrypting or “encoding” it.3
That’s why Google is trying to pressure all website owners to secure their sites with their new labels: because websites that don’t have an SSL certificate aren’t protecting data traveling from website visitors to the website, and vice versa.
On these unsecured sites, data thieves can easily slip in and steal sensitive information as it’s passing between the website and its users. However, with an SSL certificate, data thieves aren’t able to view or use the encoded data and your customers’ information remains private.4
Why is an SSL certificate important for therapist websites?
Security & Confidentiality
The most important reason that you need an SSL certificate is also the most obvious: to protect your customers’ information from theft. This is incredibly important for therapists considering that the information swapped through their website can be very personal and private in nature – whether you ask for it or not.
Because your potential clients may already be thinking of you as their potential caregiver, it’s more common for them to include more personal information in their initial outreach than, say, a visitor to Pepsi’s website.
However, even stolen data as simple as an email address can seriously and negatively impact an Internet user’s life. It’s important to do your part to thwart data thieves and provide your website visitors with the protection they expect.
Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It may surprise you to learn that securing your website with an SSL certificate goes further than having peace of mind; it can actually give you a healthy little SEO boost.
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Google’s search engine algorithm doesn’t explicitly favor secure websites, but the positive effects it can have on your traffic and overall perceived website quality can really impact your SEO.1
Only 1% of all websites are secure, but over half of Google page one search results are secure sites.5,6 The time to get an SSL certificate is now in order to get as many SEO benefits as possible before everybody & their mother follows suit.
Here’s some great news…
If you’re a Brighter Vision customer – for as long as you remain a customer – your Brighter Vision website will be secured with an SSL certificate for free.
If you feel like you’d like to learn a little more about the world’s best website design company for therapists, fill out the form below. Someone friendly from our Customer Happiness team will reach out to answer your questions. 🙂
1. Schechter, Emily. “A Milestone for Chrome Security: Marking HTTP as ‘Not Secure.’” Google, Google, 24 July 2018, www.blog.google/products/chrome/milestone-chrome-security-marking-http-not-secure/.