Encryption and secure internet connections like the web’s HTTPS protocols, aren’t a new thing but seem to be increasing in popularity. Just last week Whatsapp announced its conversations would be end to end encrypted and WordPress announced that domains on its WordPress.com servers would be automatically upgraded to https.
Google of course have been pushing secure web for some time even implying that https web sites may rank better in search results and it seems pretty obvious that more and more sites are setting up https on their domains. It’s a move that most sites should consider although up until the last few years it was really only been for sites that take personal details or billing information.
From an SEO perspective converting to https is probably going to be a sensible move for everyone and will increasingly be a stronger search ranking signal so I expect to see more and more sites converting. The conversion isn’t for the feint hearted but shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most (there’s an idea right there for a future blog post – although Search Engine Land has beaten me to it).
So why the sudden interest?
Encryption and cryptography in computing isn’t a new thing, but generally for most it’s been a little too complex to implement and for some communications protocols can be quite involved (for email for example both parties need access to the key to read each other’s email) but undoubtedly the current driver is suspicion around governments and others intercepting communications – it’s a privacy thing.
From the Snowden revelations to the current debate about the Investigatory Powers Bill, privacy concerns about our content and online conversations are more prevalent to the every day web user and high on both the political and privacy advocate agenda.
If you’re wondering what you should do, or if you have any concerns about the security of your communications, get in touch – I can probably help.