In a move to improve security, assist your position in search engines and limit browser security warnings, we have issued free SSL Certificates to Synergy 8 accounts.
Website visitors historically don't pay a lot of attention to browser security warnings. The subtle, non-obtrusive warnings give you a quick heads up that the website may not be doing a particularly good job of keeping your activity and details private.
However that's changing - web browsers such as Google Chrome are now taking a more direct approach to ensuring that web users have a more secure experience (more here).
What's the Difference between HTTP & HTTPS?
Communication via regular HTTP connections can be intercepted as plain text. For instance, form submissions sent via http://www.yourwebsite.com (instead of https://) can be intercepted, and then interpretted easily.
Our senior developer and systems engineer Antoine showed me a terrifying example of how this works late last year, by having me submit a form via HTTP, while connected to the same wifi network. He then read out the contents of my form submission, including a password.
This presents an obvious problem - if you're taking credit card information or sensitive details on your website via HTTP, that data could be intercepted.
HTTPS is essentially an encryption layer, and more secure method of communication that sits on top of HTTP. HTTPS communications are securely encrypted, so if someone (like Antoine) is able to intercept your connection, your data is encrypted and cannot be read.
What's an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificates are digital certificates that link a domain name to an organizational identity and location. SSL Certificates are required for users to connect to a website via HTTPS.
Why Should I Care?
In addition to ensuring that communication is encrypted, your Google search position is also improved when you have an SSL certificate.
As shown above, Google Chrome and other popular web browsers are beginning to show more prominent 'insecure' warnings on non-https websites. Those warnings will impact your website traffic.
What We've Done
We've already issued free SSL Certificates to all current Synergy 8 clients, and will do so for new clients as well.
For the time being, we are still allowing users to connect via HTTP, as some resources on your website might not be accessible yet via HTTPS. Stay tuned, as in the future will be redirecting traffic from HTTP to HTTPS.