Effective July 2018, Google Chrome is marking all websites without an HTTPS encryption as “Not Secure.”

In the past, Chrome has alerted users of a site’s security status by including a green padlock icon to the far left of a web address. More recently, Google has moved towards not just the omission of the padlock icon on HTTP sites, but also including “Not Secure” into the address bar for further visibility.

Now, every single HTTP site will feature that warning, which could prompt users to view a website as untrustworthy and ultimately click away from it.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. Any time you connect to a website, data is sent between your IP address and the site. HTTPS means that the information going between your browser and a website is encrypted, keeping it safe. A secure connection is essential for e-commerce and other sites that collect sensitive data. An SSL Certificate is required for a website to achieve HTTPS status.

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is the standard technology used in HTTPS to encrypt all data. An SSL Certificate is obtained by submitting your site data files such as domain name, location, and the name of your company into a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). After you’ve sent your CSR, the Certification Authority will confirm the legitimacy of your website and enable SSL.

Why Does HTTPS Matter?

Overall, HTTPS assures visitors that they’re on an official site. For example, hacker sites may use a similar web address and layout of an official website, such as an online bank, to try to trick users into giving them your sensitive information. By checking for whether the web address has the “S” for “secure” in it, you can see whether you’re connected to the official site or if it’s an imposter.

HTTPS protects more than just highly sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords, though. The secure connection also prevents your internet service provider from collecting and selling personal data.

If your site hasn’t upgraded to HTTPS yet, now is the time to do so. With Chrome’s latest update, visitors will be more wary about what websites they connect to and interact with. Make sure your site is secure to ensure the safety of your visitors and avoid losing potential leads.