August 18, 2017 – There is currently a worldwide push to move the web to encrypted traffic (HTTPS) instead of unencrypted traffic (HTTP). Encrypted communications cannot be “snooped” by third parties and are therefore much more secure than unencrypted communications. Most of your really large sites, such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! are already forcing SSL (encrypted) traffic. Even this site has used encryption for years. Google and other search engines are “rewarding” sites who use encryption with higher search results compared to their non-secure counterparts. Modern browsers are now also warning users when a form on a site does not have a secure certificate associated with it. Firefox already does this and Google Chrome will start in October of 2017.
Encrypted communications are created using certificates which are typically purchased from third-party certificate authorities. These certificates are typically valid for one to three years and cost varying amounts of money depending on the amount of verification done regarding the identity of the certificate requester. Relatively recently, however, a new certificate authority called Let’s Encrypt was created with the goal to help move the worldwide web to 100% encrypted communications. They are issuing free certificates which are valid for 90 days at a time.
Here at Network Solutions, Inc., we are helping our customers move toward HTTPS traffic by adding Let’s Encrypt certificates to our customer websites. For existing sites, we are making the use of encrypted traffic optional so you can go to either the http:// version or the https:// version of the site. We are doing this to insure that the addition of the certificate does not break anything on the current site. New sites coming online as of today will be setup so that they automatically always redirect to the https:// version of the site. Customers can request that their site be changed to “always redirect” to https:// at any time and we will be glad to do this. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling this feature out to our customers and will automatically renew these certificates at least every 90 days. Of course, customers can also “opt out” of this initiative by just letting us know they don’t wish to utilize a secure certificate.
If you have any questions about this upgrade to your service, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-6817.