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How to Fix Not Secure Website in Chrome

Maintaining a secure website is essential. Whether your website has a longstanding history or is newly created, prioritizing site security is especially critical for e-commerce platforms.

Blendrit Elezaj
Co-founder

How to Fix Not Secure Website Warning in Chrome

Maintaining a secure website is essential. Whether your website has a longstanding history or is newly created, prioritizing site security is especially critical for e-commerce platforms.

 

Any website that gathers or keeps visitor data, even minimal information like login credentials, needs to protect its users. A “Not Secure” alert will now appear on any website that does not use HTTPS according to an update to Google Chrome. This applies to all pages served over HTTP, including those with credit card and password input fields.

 

In this article, we will walk you through how to fix a not secure website step by step. You will discover everything there is to know about the Chrome browser’s “Not Secure” alert and additionally, you will discover how to modify it to read “Secure” for your own websites or remove the warning entirely as a user of the website.

What Does a “Not Secure” Website Mean?

Encountering a “not secure” warning in the search bar can instigate caution before entering a website. Understanding the implications of a “not secure” label is crucial. Here’s what you should know.

HTTP Websites Are Not Secure

Websites using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) in their URLs are deemed insecure. The absence of security measures in HTTP exposes sensitive information, including login credentials and credit card details, to potential theft or manipulation by hackers.

HTTPS Websites Are Secure

Conversely, websites with URLs starting with HTTPS are secure. This designation ensures a website’s safety, eliminating the “not secure” warning. 

Notable platforms like Google.com and Amazon.com employ HTTPS, offering users confidence in secure browsing and transactions. HTTPS provides encryption, integrity, and authentication, safeguarding personal information from tracking or theft.

“Not Secure” Doesn’t Indicate Computer Infection

Contrary to misconception, a “not secure” warning does not imply a computer virus or malware. It only signifies that the information entered on the website is vulnerable, prompting users to refrain from providing personal details.

Impact on Website Rankings

Google, a leading search engine, incorporates website security as a ranking factor. Websites lacking HTTPS may experience a decline in rankings, as Google aims to deliver results that not only match user queries but also ensure a secure online experience.

Addressing the Issue: How to Secure Your Website

If concerns about potential rank deterioration have arisen, take proactive steps to enhance your website’s security. Follow this five-step process to fortify your website for both visitors and customers.

1. Install Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate

The installation of an SSL certificate is the foundational step in boosting your website’s security. SSL employs encryption protocols, safeguarding the data exchanged between a user’s browser and the website’s server. This encryption ensures that sensitive information, such as login credentials or personal details, remains confidential during transmission.

Choosing the right SSL certificate provider is crucial. Reputable providers offer varying levels of validation, from domain validation to extended validation, each providing different layers of assurance regarding the legitimacy and security of your website.

2. Ensure HTTPS for Internal and External Links

Maintaining consistent security across your website involves transitioning all links to HTTPS. This includes both internal links within your site and any external links pointing to your domain. While the process may seem meticulous, it’s essential to ensure that users experience a seamless and secure journey throughout your website.

Internal links can be updated manually, or you can use tools and scripts to automate the process. Additionally, when collaborating with other websites or platforms, ensure that your backlinks and mentions use the secure HTTPS protocol to maintain a cohesive and secure online presence.

3. Verify Your Website in Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a powerful tool for webmasters, offering insights into how Google perceives and indexes your site. Verifying both HTTP and HTTPS versions of your site is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of its performance.

Setting your preferred domain to the HTTPS version in Google Search Console ensures that users are directed to the secure version of your website. This step not only aligns with Google’s emphasis on security but also contributes to a positive user experience.

4. Implement HTTP to HTTPS Redirects

Ensuring that all references to your website, both internal and external, use the secure HTTPS protocol is vital. For instances where you have control, such as mentions on third-party sites, updating URLs from HTTP to HTTPS is necessary.

Creating 301 redirects on your website is a proactive measure to seamlessly guide users from the non-secure HTTP URLs to their secure HTTPS counterparts. This not only maintains the integrity of your website’s structure but also ensures a smooth transition for users and search engines.

5. Update XML Sitemap

Your website’s XML sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engines, guiding them through the structure and content of your site. Updating the XML sitemap to reference the HTTPS versions of your site pages is essential.

Submitting the revised XML sitemap to Google Search Console accelerates the re-crawling and indexing process. This step is vital for search engines to recognize the secure URLs, contributing to improved visibility and rankings. Regularly updating the sitemap as you add or modify content ensures that search engines stay informed about the latest changes to your site.

Why is Website Security Important?

Ensuring the security of your website is of high importance for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps avoid the “not secure” warning and establishes a secure connection. 

In practical terms, this safeguards sensitive data inputted by users, such as credit card information or personal details, from potential unauthorized access and misuse. Major web browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer, use the “not secure” warning to inform users about the safety of entering personal information on a website. 

Online security not only shields website owners from hackers but also safeguards customers and conversions by preventing the compromise of sensitive data.

For e-commerce websites, the acquisition of an SSL certificate is essential for enabling HTTPS connections, allowing secure online payment transactions.

Legal Compliance

In many jurisdictions, there are legal requirements and regulations concerning the protection of user data. Failing to secure your website adequately may result in legal consequences and liabilities. By prioritizing online security, you not only protect your users but also ensure compliance with data protection laws.

Customer Confidence

A secure website instills confidence in your customers. When users feel their information is safe, they are more likely to engage with your site, share personal details, and make purchases. This increased confidence can lead to long-term customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Data Integrity

Securing your website is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the data you collect. This includes customer information, transaction records, and any other sensitive data. Data breaches not only compromise the privacy of individuals but can also damage the reputation of your business.

Prevention of Website Defacement

Hackers often target websites to deface them, leaving a negative impact on your brand image. By implementing robust security measures, you reduce the risk of unauthorized access and tampering with your website content.

Mitigation of Financial Risks

The financial implications of a security breach can be severe. Beyond potential legal fines, there are costs associated with investigating the breach, implementing security fixes, and recovering from reputational damage. Investing in proactive security measures is a cost-effective way to mitigate these financial risks.

Adaptation to Evolving Threats

Cyber threats are continually evolving, and hackers are becoming more sophisticated. Regularly updating and enhancing your website’s security protocols is essential to stay ahead of potential threats. This adaptability ensures that your website remains resilient against emerging risks.

Enhanced Employee Productivity

Security breaches can disrupt internal operations and lead to downtime. By securing your website, you provide a stable and reliable working environment for your employees. This, in turn, enhances overall productivity and contributes to the smooth functioning of your business.

Final Thoughts

The “Not Secure” warning, though not indicative of a computer virus, has far-reaching consequences, affecting website rankings and user trust. Proactive security measures are seen as essential not only for adapting to evolving cyber threats but also for creating a stable online environment that enhances overall business productivity and instills trust among users. Prioritizing website security is not just a technical requirement but a strategic necessity for success in the digital age.

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