Visitors see a "This Site Is Not Safe" message in their browser

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The This Site Is Not Safe warning appears next to the URL in the browser if the site does not use HTTPS, which is the online security standard for modern browsers. This can prevent users from visiting the page.

What Does This Site Is Not Safe Mean?

Sites that don’t use HTTPS are flagged in modern browsers like Chrome with the message “Not secure.” This informs users that the site has potential security problems and that the consequences of interacting with the page may be unpleasant. For example, the user will be redirected to a clone site, and the visitor’s personal data (name, address, passwords, bank card numbers) may be stolen.

The availability of HTTPS ensures three security factors that allow the user to feel as safe as when visiting the company’s office in person:

  • authentication;
  • data validity;
  • encryption of information during transmission.

More details on how and from what users are protected by HTTPS, why it is one of the fundamental elements of a modern web and is obligatory for browsers are described in the report of the webmaster conference. Check out the video by John Muller from Google.

What triggers this issue?

The issue occurs if the browser cannot securely connect to a site using the HTTPS protocol.

This happens if on the site:

  • HTTPS is not installed;
  • HTTPS is installed with an error;
  • SSL certificate has expired;
  • the current certificate does not meet the privacy standards.

How to check the issue?

You can check manually if the website supports a secure connection. Just look at the icon on the left of the page URL. If you see the message “Connection is not secure and dangerous,” it means that Google Safe Browsing has added the site to its list of dangerous sites and does not recommend visiting the page.

You can learn more by clicking on the icon and accessing the list of permissions. Google recommends prohibiting access to these sites in the settings.

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Why is this important?

Google values the security and transparency of web pages. HTTPS allows solving three tasks:

  1. Improve the position of the site in search engine rankings.
  2. Increases user trust.
  3. Reduce the risk of hacker attacks.

Each of these reasons is important for doing business and building a positive reputation for the company.

How to fix the issue?

Sometimes, for the security warning to disappear, the user only needs to reload the page or clear the cache. In case the site display was affected by some internal conflict in the settings, this will be enough.

If the security problem is related to the absence of HTTPS, it must be installed and configured.

To do this, get a security certificate from:

  • the hosting provider;
  • any organization that issues free certificates (for example, by creating a site via Google My Business);
  • providers offering such services;
  • a certification center.

After installing the certificate, you will need to confirm ownership of the site through Google Search Console. This will eliminate HTTP/2-related issues. If necessary, you can verify the domain, which will combine HTTPS and HTTP data.

Manually or with the help of automated services, check the links on the site. All URLs must start with HTTPS. Set up a 301 redirect on the server in case the user tries to log in through HTTP.

Installing HTTPS is considered site relocation, which affects URLs. You should also avoid combining secure and unsecured elements on the page and make sure that the search engine can crawl and index pages.

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