Are you ready for June 30th? This is the date set by Google whereby Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as unsecured. Currently, Chrome shows a neutral information icon; with the update, the browser will warn users with an extra notification in the address bar that the site is not secure. If your site is secure, you’ll see a green lock icon and “Secure” sign. The push isn’t anything new. Back in 2015, Google search began to down-rank unencrypted sites, followed by warnings for unencrypted password fields the following year. According to Search Engine Journal, more than 50 percent of Internet browsers worldwide use Chrome, representing a big impact on web publishers.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer; it’s the standard technology for keeping an Internet connection secure as well as safeguarding sensitive data sent between two systems. In essence, it prevents criminals from reading and modifying any transferred information, including potential personal details. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important for hospice websites to have SSL encryption. By extension, HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) appears in the URL when a website is represented by a secure SSL certificate.
Healthcare businesses, particularly hospice providers, need to take this warning seriously. In fact, you should already be converted to an SSL encrypted site. If not, you only have a few more weeks to comply. A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing can take care of this for you as part of our web design services. Rest assured, we handle these encryption issues every day, so rely on us to get it done quickly and efficiently.
For now, let’s go over five reasons why SSL encryption is essential for hospice websites.
1. Information Encryption
The top benefit of using an SSL certificate is that it provides encrypted protection during the online transfer of sensitive information, says Search Engine Land. When an SSL certificate is being used, the information essentially becomes unreadable to any party except for the server to which you are sending it. This is vitally important with hospice care sites, which deal with a lot of sensitive and private information about patients on a daily basis.
SSL certificates also provide authentication, so that you know the info you’re sending is going to the right server. Because users often access the Internet via a variety of devices, the ways in which these many devices can be compromised is mind-boggling. The last thing you want is for one of your employees to send personal information about a patient to the wrong destination. You can guarantee authentication when you use a proper Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and obtain an SSL certificate from a trusted provider.
3. Better SEO Scores
Back in 2014, Google made an announcement that the addition of an SSL certificate would lead to a minor ranking boost. Same is true today. You don’t even need a checkout page on your site to benefit from the SEO boost.
4. Foster Client Trust
When a user visits a secure website, they can see the padlock in the address bar that indicates the connection is secured. This gives them peace of mind knowing the information they are viewing or sending is secured. Consequently, this trust seal graphic helps to build trust with your visitors, leading to higher conversions.
5. Protect Against Phishing Attacks
Sites that impersonate your services are potentially very destructive. But scammers can’t readily secure their false sites, which means adding SSL to your website will assure visitors your site is authentic. This is an ideal way to show them the difference between hackers and your reputable site.
Bottom line is, SSL encryption is vital in protecting the channel between your browser and the website you’re visiting, ensuring no one in between can interfere with the traffic or learn what you are doing, points out The Verge. With unencrypted sites, anyone who has access to your router or ISP can intercept information or inject malware onto your pages. This could spell disaster for your hospice care business. When you secure your data, you get three critical layers of protection:
- Encryption—Keeps data secure from eavesdroppers.
- Data integrity—Data can’t be modified or corrupted during transfer without detection.
- Authentication—Proves that users are communicating with the intended website.
It’s best to look to the professionals to help with the process, as too many mistakes can happen, from expired certificates to indexing issues. We can help you build trust and brand power as well as protect you from cyber-criminals.
Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing
If you require assistance with SSL encryption, turn to A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing, where we specialize in healthcare SEO. Please call us at 760-744-8200 to learn more. Remember, you only have till June 30th, so time is running out.