Why Does My Website Say Not Secure – What Should I Do?

As a leading website design and development company with over two decades of experience protecting websites from cyber threats, Americaneagle.com understands the negative ramifications of having an unsecure website. 

These days, more often than not, a website is the public face of a business. Just as a physical store needs robust security measures to protect its premises, inventory, and customers, a website requires comprehensive cybersecurity defenses. Website downtime or security breaches can severely impact a business, leading to lost sales, damage to their brand, compliance issues, and potential legal liabilities. Maintaining a secure and consistently available website is paramount for businesses to build trust with customers, safeguard sensitive data, and ensure seamless online operations.

Person using laptop with a security alert on screen, emphasizing need for secure websites through successful web development

What is an Unsecure Website?

An unsecure website lacks SSL certification or HTTPS encryption, posing risks to data privacy, confidentiality, and integrity. This makes the connection vulnerable to interception, data modification, and unauthorized access, potentially leading to loss, leakage, or theft of sensitive information.

When a person visits an unsecure website, several potential risks and consequences may arise due to the absence of encryption and security measures:

  • Data interception: Information transmitted between the user's browser and the unsecured website can be intercepted by malicious third parties, leading to the potential exposure of sensitive data such as login and personal information and financial details.
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks: Without proper encryption and authentication, an attacker can position themselves between the user and the website, allowing them to intercept, modify, or inject malicious content into the communication stream.
  • Website defacement or content manipulation: Unsecured websites are susceptible to unauthorized access, which can lead to website defacement, where the attacker modifies the website's content, potentially displaying offensive or misleading information to visitors.
  • Privacy concerns: Visiting an unsecured website can expose the user's browsing behavior, preferences, and any submitted forms or input to unauthorized surveillance, potentially leading to privacy violations.
  • Malware distribution: Unsecure websites can serve as entry points for the distribution of malware, increasing the risk of users inadvertently downloading malicious software onto their devices, leading to security breaches and data loss.
  • Trust and credibility issues: Users may perceive unsecure websites as less trustworthy and credible, impacting the website's reputation and potentially deterring visitors from engaging with its content or services.

Why is My Website Not Secure?

Several factors can contribute to a website not being secure:

  • Lack of SSL certificate: Without an SSL certificate, the website does not use HTTPS encryption to secure the connection between the user's browser and the web server, leaving the data vulnerable to interception and manipulation.
  • Outdated software and plugins: Websites that run on outdated content management systems (CMS), frameworks, or plugins may have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. You must regularly update and patch this software so the website is not susceptible to security breaches.
  • Weak passwords and authentication: Inadequate password policies and weak authentication processes can make it easier for unauthorized individuals to gain access to the website's backend, compromising sensitive data and potentially leading to unauthorized modifications.
  • Insecure forms and data handling: Websites that do not implement secure practices for handling user input, such as forms and sensitive data, can be open to attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection, leading to data breaches and compromising user information.
  • Third-party integrations: Utilizing third-party integrations and services without proper vetting and security assessments can introduce vulnerabilities to the website. Insecure APIs, libraries, or external components can be exploited to impact the website's security.
  • Inadequate server security configuration: Improper server configurations, lack of firewall protection, or misconfigured security settings can expose the website to various security risks, making it an easy target for cyberattacks.
  • Lack of regular security audits and monitoring: Without regular security audits and proactive monitoring, websites are at risk of overlooking potential vulnerabilities and failing to detect security incidents as soon as they happen, which can lead to prolonged exposure to threats.

How to fix a not secure website involves addressing these issues. You must take a proactive approach to website security, including the implementation of SSL certificates, regular software updates, robust authentication mechanisms, secure coding practices, thorough security assessments, and continuous monitoring to ensure a strong defense against potential threats. 

It’s also important to point out that browser warnings play a crucial role in security. When a user encounters a website, the browser checks the site's identity and its SSL certificate to determine if it's secure. If something is amiss, the browser alerts the user through security warnings. These warnings serve several important functions for user safety, including:

  • Alerting users to potential risks
  • Preventing malicious activities
  • Promoting trust and transparency
  • Encouraging secure website practices
  • Educating users about secure browsing habits

How Do I Fix an Unsecure Website?

Here is how you fix a not secure website:

  • Obtain and install an SSL certificate: An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts data transmitted between a user's browser and the web server, ensuring secure communication and protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access. There are several reputable vendors where you can obtain SSL certificates from. Install the SSL certificate on your web hosting platform or server. This process may vary depending on your hosting provider, but typically involves uploading the certificate files and configuring the server settings to enable HTTPS.
  • Updating website settings: Changing HTTP to HTTPS in settings, implement site-wide 301 redirects for HTTP to HTTPS, and ensure consistency in URLs and links across the website.

Once the protocol change and redirects are in place, it's essential to thoroughly audit your website's content and ensure that all internal links, resources, and URLs consistently use the HTTPS protocol. This step may involve updating hardcoded links, image sources, and other references across your website's pages, templates, and databases.

Here are some additional cybersecurity measures:

  • Regular software updates: These updates typically contain patches that address security vulnerabilities within programs and products, minimizing exposure to bugs, viruses, and defects. By regularly updating software, website owners can mitigate the risk of security flaws, protect their data, improve compatibility with applications, and stay protected from emerging threats.  
  • Checking web server security settings: Website administrators should prioritize the review and optimization of their web server's security settings. This includes configuring firewall settings, SSL/TLS protocols, and cipher suites to enhance overall website security.
  • Implementing backup solutions for website data: Implementing backup solutions for website data is essential to safeguard against potential security incidents and data loss. Automated backups of website data and files, either through hosting providers or dedicated backup solutions, provide a safety net for quick recovery in case of breaches or system failures.

By incorporating these additional security measures alongside HTTPS implementation and updating website settings, website admins can protect their websites against security threats and provide a safer online experience for their visitors.

What is HTTPS Security?

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) plays a critical role in ensuring a secure and trustworthy online environment. The adoption of HTTPS is paramount for securing online communications, protecting user privacy, preventing cyber-attacks, legitimizing websites, and ensuring the confidentiality of data transferred over the internet.

What Happens if I Don’t Make My Website Secure?

Fixing an unsecure website is critical for both your business and your visitors. Failure to secure the website can result in severe consequences, including loss of business and a negative reputation. An unsecure website poses significant risks such as data breaches, unauthorized access to sensitive information, and potential malware distribution. This can lead to a loss of customer trust, decreased website traffic, and reduced conversions. Search engines may also penalize unsecure websites, impacting their visibility and search rankings.

By addressing website security vulnerabilities and implementing HTTPS encryption, businesses can protect their customers' data, build trust, and uphold their reputation as a secure and reliable online presence. This proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing user safety and privacy.

Looking for an Agency to Keep Your Website Secure?

If you find yourself asking “why is my website not secure?” – it’s time to contact us!

Americaneagle.com provides secure and reliable hosting services monitored 24/7/365 by experienced data center team members. We ensure optimal website performance even during high traffic spikes or cyberattacks, with over two decades of expertise in defending against web application/DDoS attacks. We have hosted websites during high-profile events like the Big Game and use PCI requirements to secure all customer websites. Additionally, we have experience in securing high-profile federal government sites (FISMA compliance).

Feel free to reach out to our team by calling (877) 932-6691 or fill out the brief contact us form on our website. We’d be happy to discuss security, hosting, and any other website design, development, and digital marketing questions you have.

Website Security FAQs

What are the risks of not securing my website?

The risks of not securing your website include potential data breaches, compromised user privacy, loss of customer trust, and a negative impact on your reputation.

Can I fix the "Not Secure" message without an SSL certificate?

No, the "Not Secure" message cannot be fixed without obtaining and installing an SSL certificate to secure the website.

How long does it take to install an SSL certificate?

The installation of an SSL certificate can usually be completed within a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the hosting provider and the specific process involved.

Will fixing the "Not Secure" message affect my website's SEO?

Fixing the "Not Secure" message by implementing an SSL certificate is likely to have a positive effect on your website's SEO, as search engines prioritize secure websites in their rankings.

Are there any free options for obtaining SSL certificates?

Yes, there are free options for obtaining SSL certificates, but the cost of an SSL certificate can range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the level of security you require.

About Author

Shawn Griffin
Shawn has been with Americaneagle.com since 1999 in a variety of roles. Currently, Shawn is part of our digital marketing and content team. In addition to editing and producing written company pieces, he produces copy for clients and he also helps to produce our radio and TV spots. He wants to make sure everybody knows that it’s truly a collaborative effort – between many, including the people he’s worked for during the past 20+ years!

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