If you’re frequently getting “Deceptive Content” warnings on your websites, it’s probably because you’re getting hit by one of Google’s freshest policies. It may be about time to start updating your websites with the latest in SSL.
Just to recap, Google usually gives out these “Deceptive Content” alerts to users when they think a website has code that tries to phish information from them.
This means if a website has data entry options that seem suspicious, Google can brand them with these warnings. For some websites, this can get very harmful and lose clients, even if you really aren’t phishing your visitors. There seems to have been an increase in the amount of websites that Google placed in their own “restricted” list.
- In fact, there are more “Deceptive Content” alerts in the Internet these past few days.
- What’s interesting is that those websites are in fact safe, and there aren’t any suspicious software found inside of them.
Thanks through a research of Sucuri Blog with Unmask Parasites, it seems these alerts were also plastered on websites that disabled SSL. So what gives?
SSL Certificate: The Basics
Even the most novice of computer geeks know that most websites are created using HTTP. However, some of you may have noticed that some websites in fact use HTTPS instead.
You can see this difference at the address bar, as some websites have “http://” or “https://” on them.
This simply means that the particular website with HTTPS has installed an SSL or TLS certificate. SSL and TSL are extremely similar acronyms, each with their subtle differences.
- SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and
- TLS stands for Transport Layer Security, which is the improved version of SSL.
- Both SSL and TLS are what is called “cryptographic protocol” or systems used to help protect data while it proceeds to go from one place of the internet to another, and in between servers and computers.
- Data protected includes uploads, submissions, viewable content, and downloads
However, it’s important to remember that SSL and TSL does not keep your website secure from hackers.
- They do, however, make sure your visitors are protected.
What Do I Look For?
As a website visitor, you should look for the green icon beside the address bar.
- It should be a padlock with the word “Secure” beside it.
- This simply means that the transfer of data between you and the internet is protected.
- This is important because HTTP sites aren’t secure enough. Hackers and other infiltrators can look into the packets of data transferred and intercept information from there. These can include important information like passwords.
How Does This Affect Me?
It’s important to remember that Google is the biggest search engine worldwide, so if you don’t get in its good graces, chances are your website will not see the light of day, at least for visitors.
This means if they want you to use SSL, then you should probably use it as well.
- Interestingly, Google keeps mum about its algorithm and the way it shares who to prioritize in its massive search engine. However, some have noticed that HTTPS sites or those with SSL have ranked higher across the web.
- Google actually released a “Not Secure” sign in Google Chrome this year (2017) that shows if a website isn’t using HTTPS especially if the website had users type passwords before.
- Google will also use the “Not Secure” label in all HTTP websites in the coming months.
This signifies that Google may be prioritizing SSL and TSL as the new “standard” for protecting visitors.
Will Enabling SSL Work?
According to Sucuri, Google rejected reviews of a clean website on their end more than once, but was approved when SSL was enabled.
- In fact, they said nothing in the website was changed.
- Some rejected websites had text input fields, especially for passwords, that were still under HTTP. This means Google really is cracking down on websites that are still using HTTP.
- This is most helpful especially if you’re a new domain. It’s been found out that hackers usually target new domains, and are only blacklisted after they are attacked.
- Always remember, however, that it’s also helpful to “build” a “reputation” with Google first, meaning you have to continuously provide a stream of content over time in order to work your way through the rankings. SSL and this kind of practice work hand in hand.
It is important to understand that because you are dealing business on the internet, it’s also important to keep everything secure. This establishes a degree of trust between you, your visitors, and your clients.
To enable SSL isn’t to simply follow what Google wants, but it’s also a good first step towards a business that also follows safety protocols. Google’s stand in the issue means it’s enforcing on its users the beginning of good cybersecurity habits, especially since there’s a frequency of cyber attacks for the past few years.
If you have a new site that hasn’t enabled SSL, it’s better that you do it now alongside a steady stream of content. You’d thank Google later.