Google recently announced it has started to use HTTPS as a ranking signal in order to “make the Internet safer more broadly.” HTTPS is a language code that secures the information being passed back and forth between web servers and clients.
Many websites are accessed by HTTP, which means that these websites are talking to your browser using the regular 'unsecure' language. In other words, it is possible for someone to "eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with these websites that are served via HTTP. This is why you would never want to enter personal or financial information into a website unless you notice that the web address begins with https://.
As a business owner, keeping your website investment and online data safe is a top priority. However, this can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. One does not have to look too far in order to see examples of devastating security breaches (eg. the Heartbleed bug, Target credit card data leak). In fact, according to the online security firm Sophos Labs1, approximately 30,000 new websites per day are identified as distributing spam or malicious code. Most of these are small business websites that have been hacked and turned into malware distribution zombies. But fear not as there are some basic steps all website owners can take in order to keep their site and online data safe and help prevent becoming a hacking statistic.