Internet security is something that everyone should take very seriously. We're all guilty of using insecure passwords, the same password for everything and never changing our passwords. The way the internet is structured at the moment makes it a very insecure place to share your personal details.
In the past few years there has been a movement to move all websites onto the SSL (Secure Socket Layer). This means that all websites will communicate with users over encrypted channels, helping to secure the internet greatly and provide higher levels of protection on your data as it moves about the internet.
Most reputable websites employ SSL already. It's the green lock that appears in your browser. But some want to take it a step further requiring that all websites use this technology, regardless of the type of website.
At the moment the standard practise is to install an SSL certificate on websites that take payment or credit card details from customers (bank merchants make this a requirement), some install an SSL just to secure logins, but basic business websites, personal websites, blogs, forums, rarely employ this level of security, which is where the movement to secure the internet comes in.
The most amazing part of the movement in the past few months has been an open source project designed to allow webmasters to generate and install valid and signed SSL certificates for free. The website is called Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) and it's currently in a public beta phase. I have generated a few SSL certificates using this and it's really cool, albeit not easy for the average user to use. It's movements like this that lower the cost barrier for personal websites, blogs and forums to secure their websites without the annual cost requirement to purchase a valid and signed SSL certificate.
You can also use a free SSL on the DNS/Security system Cloudflare (https://www.cloudflare.com) - which we really love.
One step further from this is murmurs of browsers like Firefox starting to think of plans to implement SSL only for web viewing. Meaning you won't be able to use (in the future); or warnings will be displayed; on a website without an SSL certificate installed. (https://www.fxsitecompat.com/en-CA/docs/2015/non-https-sites-containing-login-form-will-be-marked-insecure/)
One step even further is Google rewarding higher page ranks to websites that have SSL on their website. Giving a boost to websites SEO marketing. All these factors together are driving the SSL movement forward, putting more pressure on webmasters to ensure their sites are secure and valid no matter the type of content or user interaction on the site.
The simplest example on how this makes the internet more secure is if you use a contact form on a website to enquire with a business. When you click the Send Enquiry button the details of your enquiry and personal information are transmitted from your browser to the business server. Along the way your data can be intercepted and used for malicious intent. An SSL certificate encrypts your data at your browser and transmits it securely to the business server and anything intercepted in the middle is obfuscated and unreadable.
The basic point of this post is to get thinking that SSL only sites are coming. And to stay ahead of the pack you should be installing SSL certificates on your websites now. Your uses will enjoy a more secure experience, gain slightly more trust on the internet and gain a small SEO boost to boot!