Are Browser Security Warnings a Big Deal?

The Google Chrome Security team announced recently that their browser will begin labeling HTTP connections as “Not Secure” starting in January 2017. The first small step will be to change the security icon on web pages that except credit cards or passwords. Other browsers like FireFox and Safari will also be making similar changes in the coming year. The goal is to make users more aware of security.

Basically, Google wants all sites to install a valid security certificate and transition from HTTP to HTTPS. Luckily, the process has gotten much easier and less expensive than in the past year. Most web hosts are offering certificates for free, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to make every page of your site display a “Secure” icon. It can take some time depending on the size and complexity of your site.

We’re getting lots of questions from clients wondering if they should spend the money to upgrade to HTTPS. Do users even notice the security icons? Our opinion is, currently users pay little attention to the warnings. But by the end of 2017, they are going to be more prominent and noticeable. People get very suspicious when things are labeled “Not Secure”. Also, Google gives a slight rankings boost for sites using HTTPS.

Below are illustrations of how your site will eventually display the security warnings in Google Chrome.

https warning notices in Google Chrome