Why is my website displaying a not secure warning?

The not secure warning explained

One minute your website’s fine. The next, it’s displaying a not secure warning. Maybe you discovered it by visiting your own website, or perhaps a concerned customer got in touch and pointed it out.

However you found about it, you’re undoubtedly asking yourself “why is my website displaying a not secure warning?”. The answer is: Any website that is not protected by a SSL certificate will show a not secure warning when viewed in Google Chrome version 68 and later. Chrome 68 was launched by Google on 24.07.18.

This article will discuss three main questions:

  1. What does Chrome’s not secure warning mean?
  2. How can you fix the not secure warning?
  3. What are the benefits of the SSL certificate?

What does Chrome’s not secure warning really mean?

If you are seeing the not secure warning, don’t panic. The presence of the warning itself doesn’t indicate that your website has been hacked or infected with a virus.

It simply means that you haven’t protected your website with an SSL certificate, which means it’s possible for a third-party to read information transmitted between your website and anyone visiting it.

Avoid the not secure warning and get a secure connectionIn practice, this means that if someone is inputting sensitive data such as payment information (credit card) or even just their name and address into an unprotected web page, then there’s a possibility this data could be accessed by someone else and misused.That’s why Google’s web browser has introduced the not secure warning – so people visiting a website know whether it’s safe to enter personal details.This also applies in other web browsers like firefox, safari, duck duck go, internet explorer, and the rest.Your website’s security is not there to only protect you as a website owner against hackers. But also to protect your customers/conversions from losing their sensitive data. 

How can I fix the not secure warning?

To fix the Google Chrome not secure warning you need to purchase and properly install a secure sockets layer (SSL certificate) to move to secure site status.

An SSL certificate means that any data that passes between your website and people visiting it is encrypted, so it can’t be accessed by a third party.

It increases your site’s security and helps you go from http sites (insecure sites) to https sites (secure sites).

This security certificate boosts customers’ and site visitors confidence in your site as they can be assured that their personal data isn’t being mistreated.

That’s probably all you really need to  know about SSL certificates at this stage, but if you want to know more you can read this guide.

Once your SSL certificate is installed, the not secure warning will disappear. You’ll also notice that the prefix of your web address changes from http to https (the “s” stands for secure), and there’s a little padlock in the address bar indicating that you have a secure website.

GoDaddy website protected with an SSL certificate

But first, you’ll need to buy an SSL certificate. GoDaddy offers a range of SSL options, so you’ll be able to find one that’s right for you.

If you’re looking to protect a GoDaddy Website Builder or Online Store website, your SSL will be installed automatically. The same is true if you site is hosted on GoDaddy web hosting.

For those of you who don’t fall into these groups, checkout our SSL FAQs for more help on setting up your SSL.

If you have a WordPress website then you need to read this article on the best WordPress security plugins.

(Of course, you could always switch to GoDaddy’s Website builder to make things easier when adding an SSL)

Related: What is an SSL port? A technical guide for HTTPS protocol

Are there any other benefits to adding an SSL?

You may have heard that you can boost your search engine optimization by adding an SSL certificate. And although it’s true that Google has said https pages may get a small boost  in its  search engine rankings, you  shouldn’t expect it to send your site rocketing to first place.

Switching your website to https by installing an SSL certificate is no replacement for conducting good, solid SEO. You can learn more improving you SEO rankings in this guide.

You should also know that ecommerce sites cannot process payments without and SSL certificate in place. So it is a must if you plan on selling products online.

Summing up

If you don’t want Google’s not secure warning to appear on your website, then you need to install an SSL certificate as soon as you can. Doing so will also ensure visitors have a safe and secure experience on your website.

screenshot of ssl certificate page on GoDaddy.

Image by: Christin Hume via Unsplash.