Why Does My Website Say ‘Not Secure’?

Why Does My Website Say ‘Not Secure’?

We’ve all been there: receiving a “not secure” warning after clicking on a website. That kind of warning probably had you clicking off in a hasty retreat and checking if your computer is still working correctly. Why? Because “not secure” could mean exposing your computer or phone to potential viruses and malware. More importantly, a “not secure” website means that sensitive user information could be compromised.

But what if this website happens to be yours? Odds are you’re here because you’re asking yourself the question: Why does my website say not secure?

It’s only natural that the audience you’re trying to target will actively avoid it. In turn, this will harm your organic traffic and cripple your revenue stream because having a secure website is one of many ranking factors in SEO. And that’s what you’re here to find out: how to fix the problem. 

What is site security? 

The importance of site security can be summed up by these realities: cyber-attacks, black-listings, malware, DDoS attacks, and many more. When your website is blacklisted, it means that it will no longer be found in the results of a search. Attacks and malware suggest that any sensitive information on your site can be stolen and misused.

Site security is the process that ensures the information on your site is safe from the threats mentioned above. And in turn, you can protect your visitors from harm and avoid the loss of revenue.

Learning about site security could mean the difference between business growth and business failure.

What “Not Secure” Means

If you’ve noticed that your website keeps showing up as “not secure,” don’t panic or pull the website down. The “not secure” warning indicates that your SSL certificate is expired and needs to be updated. 

A proper SSL Certificate ensures that all the information on your website is encrypted and safe from prying eyes. It also tells website visitors that your site is secure and trustworthy.

SSL, short for “Secure Sockets Layer”, can be defined as a type of security for the web. And as seen from what an SSL certificate can do, sites that contain sensitive data should always have one. Additionally, if your website usually has your visitors enter or leave sensitive information such as email addresses, an SSL certificate is non-negotiable.

Essentially, SSL protects both you and your website visitors. 

How to Make Your Site Secure 

An unsecured website can cost a business dearly. If it’s not trying to fix the costly damage caused by a cyber-attack, it’s trying to deal with a damaged reputation as a business. 

It’s the perfect ingredient to the downfall of a company built through hard work and constant investment. And no one wants that. So, the only option is to secure one’s site. But how can one protect their website? How can one secure their site from the multitude of threats that are a part of the internet?

Have an SSL Certificate

One should use excellent and secure hosting. A vulnerable web server goes a long way in helping malicious hackers hack into it. You can prevent this by using an SSL certificate, also known as TLS certificates or trusted certificates.

It’s there to help you encrypt all your website’s data so that only you and your visitors know what’s being sent back and forth.

Update Your XML Sitemap

XML sitemaps have been around since the early 2000s, and they are files that contain all the URLs of a particular website. An XML sitemap must be updated at least once a quarter to be eligible for search engines. If your website has over 10,000 pages, you must update your XML sitemap at least once a month.

The primary purpose of updating an XML sitemap is to provide a guide to search engines. It tells them which web pages exist and which ones have been changed. Search engines then use the information in the XML sitemap when they find new content on a web page or when they decide which pages are relevant for any particular search term.

Switch Internal and External Links to HTTPS

Internal links are URLs that point to other pages on the same website, and external links refer to other websites. By changing these links from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS, only those using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) will be able to access them. This prevents hackers from intercepting these hyperlinks and redirecting the user elsewhere with a phishing or man-in-the-middle attack.

We’ll take a more in-depth look at what HTTPS is and what it does later in the article. 

Other ways to make your website secure:

Performing redirects for HTTP URL’s

What is HTTPS and What Does it Do

HTTPS is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. But what exactly does it do? 

HTTPS is a security protocol for the World Wide Web. It started to protect communications between websites and users by encrypting the data and authenticating it with digital certificates but has since expanded to encompass a host of other applications.

HTTPS securely transmits your data with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption, preventing eavesdropping and fraud at public WiFi locations by making sure no one can steal your information while you’re browsing.

How HTTPS Affects SEO 

To have a more secure website, people are now moving from HTTP to HTTPS. However, website owners are worried if the switch will have a negative impact on their SEO. But does HTTPS affect SEO?

The answer is no, but you may want to let Google know about the switch

Having a SSL Certificate on your website (using HTTPS) is a ranking factor in the Google search engine algorithm, meaning that it will help your SEO performance if you have one and it will have a negative effect if you don’t. It ultimately has low impact, but anything helps. In most cases, what’s great for SEO will also be great for your user experience. In fact, users are more likely to visit a site if it’s using HTTPS.

At Ranksey Digital Marketing, we help large and small organizations secure their websites. If you need help, please request a web design quote. Still have a website security question? We can help. Get a free consultation.

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