Have you been working on your SEO and hoping to get your website to the top of the search engine?
Google is pushing for HTTPS
On August 6th, 2014, Google tested out using HTTPS as a Ranking Signal. They reported that their test showed positive results when they used encrypted connections as a signal in their ranking algorithm. HTTPS has since become a permanent search ranking signal on Google.
Google stated that the HTTPS is a very lightweight signal that only affects less than 1% of global queries and there has been no reports of ranking changes. So if two sites were the exact same, then the page using HTTPS may rank above the unsecured page. The boost will only be URL specific and not site-wide.
Watch Google’s video on why HTTPS matters: http://bit.ly/1tmM5z5
High quality content on a webpage will still outweigh the HTTPS signal but it looks like Google is pushing for the switch and hinting that the HTTPS signal will become a bigger part of their ranking algorithm in the future.
Even if you are a non-commercial website, it may be wise to switch to a secure server anyway. For one thing, a secure server guarantees that your content cannot be altered, e.g. have unexpected ads added. It also allows your website to look more authentic, an important factor if the content on your website is intended to provide advice, e.g. financial or medical information.
Google may be pushing for HTTPS so that it helps identify site ownership and therefore eliminate spam. It could also be potentially harder for NSA to track the content users are consuming if we browse HTTPS sites.
No, migration to HTTPS doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s relatively easy to purchase the Security Certificate from your web hosting company. But sometimes you may experience a 301 error code, which means the redirect from your HTTP domain to your HTTPS is corrupted. This happens when there is a potential for duplicated content and several other technical issues during transition.
To avoid potential problems during migration, site owners should avoid redirect chains, similar to this one:
- I click on your website at http://iloveyoyos.com
- You redirect me to http://www.iloveyoyos.com
- Then you redirect me to https://www.iloveyoyos.com
If you’re building a new site, changing domain names or making a change to your URL structure (e.g. platform changes) then you won’t be experiencing the redirect issues.
It is estimated that we have two years to move to HTTPS before a non-secured website becomes a critical SEO problem. So you can take your time, but we are starting to see warnings generated on websites that tell visitors they are connecting onto a non-secured website:
So for a low annual sum, it may really be worth it to make the move now and avoid these privacy warnings that kill site traffic.
The different kinds of security certificates
These are the different types of secured/non-secured URLs you will come across:
On Google Chrome:
So which one should we choose for our website?
Google won’t factor in the different kinds of certificates into site rankings at this time, but they do affect user trust and conversion rates, so it is good to understand how to choose from the variety of security certificates available.
- Shared Certificates are commonly offered by web hosts. You use their certificate but the security certificate isn’t connected to your domain name. www.iloveyoyos.com will contain your non-secure content while your shopping cart will go on www.iloveyoyos.cartprovider.com. This is less costly but takes away from your brand name and user confidence.
- Free Certificates are sometimes used for personal websites or forums. Companies may offer these free security certificates for specific reasons, e.g. if you are part of qualified Open Source project. These certificates will not be valid for businesses but may be applicable for non-profit projects.
- Domain Validated (DV) Certificates are the most common SSL certificates. It is often used by small businesses and covers a single subdomain, e.g. www.iloveyoyos.com but not iloveyoyos.com. Users to this website will see a security icon by the domain.
- An Organization Validated (OV) Certificate requires both the organization and the domain registry to verify information. The OV certificate will check to make sure the business is legitimate and is therefore more expensive to get than the DV certificate. Users can only tell the difference between the two if they click the padlock icon.
- The Extended Validation (EV) Certificate is the most expensive and hard to get SSL certificate. It requires a business to include domain ownership and organization information, as well as show legal existence in their organization. The EV Certificate takes more time to process and are more expensive. Users of EV certified websites will see a green bar on their browser and likely be more confident in their shopping experience.
Hopefully by now you have learned more about security on websites and how to improve your business online.
Many Canadian businesses use .ca domains and they will benefit as the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has recently added secondary security for all .ca domain subscribers. Domain Name Systems (DNS) are often under attack and this service helps reduce the impact of attacks on the DNS infrastructure.
CIRA created the D-Zone Anycast DNS as a secondary service that will run atop the original DNS. This new service has two Anycast clouds that include 22 nodes installed in a global network of Internet exchange points (IT World Canada). The new architecture has higher performance, fault tolerance and reliability, which helps keep websites and other clouds continuously available on the internet (CIRA). The added security will help eliminate DNS outage and protect online operations of businesses and organizations.
As internet and hosting security become more advanced in Canada, more and more businesses are turning to Canadian hosting companies to take advantage of the unique compliancy and security features. Canadian Web Hosting is a company well-versed in minimizing users’ exposure to common threats, identify and assessing systems and application vulnerabilities, and providing for 24/7 monitoring, management, and response of web hosting.
Founder and General Manager of KATS Sy Silverberg, is a retired physician. At age 72, he and his wife Catarina wanted to give back to their community and so they started their own non-profit society to provide children in poor financial circumstances with an opportunity to play tennis for free.
Board of Tennis BC presents Sy Silverberg with 2014 "Excellence Award"/KATS
Sy wanted to help these children foster physical, emotional, and social well-being. He believed in setting kids up for success so that they can develop a sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Physical activity would also provide significant benefits in a society where childhood obesity is climbing at an alarming rate.
Besides free equipment and instruction, KATS employs the Tennis Canada “progressive tennis” approach. KATS uses age-appropriate racquets, courts, and balls because adult-intended equipment can be overwhelming and frustrating for younger people to use. Sy believes that this will help build their confidence, especially for those who are not “natural athletes”.
Through their partnership with local community centres and inter-cultural centres, KATS has instructed 112 kids and conducted 97 hours of lessons in their first spring and summer of operation. Sy plans to work with six lowest-income schools in the near future and anticipate that close to a 1000 kids will sign up with KATS next spring.
For more information on Society for Kids at Tennis, visit them at kidsattennis.ca.
Canadian Web Hosting is a leading managed hosting company that specializes in hosting business and enterprise-class clients. One of only a few SAS70 Type II and CICA 5970 certified service providers in Canada, Canadian Web Hosting delivers a secure and scalable service delivery for a diverse range of companies throughout Canada.
The European Union (EU) and Canada supervises the private sector’s use of personal data while the US has minimal regulation of their private sector. Canada’s privacy laws focuses on “individual autonomy through personal control of information” (Techvibes).The US focuses more on protection from the government while Europe tends to protect their dignity and public image (Identity Bureau Trulioo).
In addition to two federal laws in Canada that protect personal information, there are also provincial laws in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec that are similar to PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). These laws set out ground rules for how private sectors may collect, use, or disclose personal information in a commercial setting. Unlike the US, Canada’s strict privacy laws are recognized by the EU and privacy compliance is overseen by privacy commissioners and ombudsmen at both the federal and provincial levels (Techvibes).
So what does this mean for businesses in Canada?
In today's business market, service organizations are looking for a partner who can help them deploy IT infrastructure services and have the necessary controls and measures that comply with their local and corporate requirements. One of Canadian Web Hosting's core missions is to help businesses meet their SSAE 16 certification requirements (formerly the SAS70), which meets the new international service organizations standards for Type I and Type II reporting.
The Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) issues the SSAE 16 Type II (formerly SAS 70) to service organizations that typically offer outsourced services. An auditor's report details the ability for a service provider's ability to offer adequate controls and safeguards when they host or process data belonging to their customers.
The CSAE 3416 certification is issued under Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Canadian Standard on Assurance Engagements (CSAE) 3416 to service organizations that typically offer outsourced services. An auditor's report details the ability for a service provider's ability to offer adequate controls and safeguards when they host or process data belonging to their customers.
Okay... then what does this mean for our customers?
Customers can now outsource web-hosting services including Dedicated Servers, virtual servers (VPS), CA Cloud Servers and/or Shared Hosting to a provider that already meets SSAE 16 requirements. In doing so, you can focus your company's time, money, and manpower on core functions that will drive additional revenue to your business. Here are some examples of Canadian Web Hosting's SSAE 16 compliance controls and physical security that our hosting environment supplements:
- Facilities and asset management
- Logical access and access control
- Network and information security
- Computer operations
- Backup and recovery
- Change and incident management
- Organizational and administrative controls
- Security policies, reporting, and monitoring
- Physical and logical security
Canadian Web Hosting is the industry leader in delivering 100% Canadian web hosting solutions for businesses requiring a SSAE 16 certification with their web hosting environment. When combined with our enterprise-grade web hosting hardware, and a securehosting environment that features many leading technologies including our Unified Security Services, Canadian Web Hosting will help you achieve compliance.
- SSL capability
- Enterprise-level, application level protection
- Hardware/Software firewall
- IP-Restricted FTP
- Managed backups with guaranteed retention
- Advanced 24/7monitoring
- Multi-level intrusion prevention (IPS/IDS)
- Anti-Spam, Anti-Malware, Anti-Virus
- Log Management