In February, Google announced changes to the way some sites viewed using their Chrome browser will display. All sites not using a security certificate will display a message that says “Not Secure.” According to Google, the changes will occur sometime in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68

not secure website http warning message

Chrome’s Not Secure Warning – What it look like:

Site not secure warning
This is Google’s attempt to educate more users that HTTP sites are not secure.

How to tell if your website is secure

The easiest way to tell if your site is secure is to look at the address bar. If you see “https” your site is secure. If you only see “http”, your site is not secure.

Medical Practice Websites Best Practices - Secure Site

“This Connection Is Not Private” Message

This connection is not secure iphoneSome users using Chrome, Safari on iPhone, and Android phones have reported an uptick in security warning messages.

When trying to visit a website that is insecure, users are presented a screen with dire-sounding warnings like “This connection is not private” and “this website might be impersonating (your site) to steal your personal or financial information.” With a final warning: “You should go back to the previous page”

If customers see this, many may think your site has been hacked or it’s not really your site. This can have serious impacts on your business.

It’s not clear if these messages are related to Google’s update or not. However, the increase in occurrences should make the message clear: It’s time to secure your site.

Some businesses won’t make the necessary changes. They’ll wait until one day this error shows up for their visitors and they scramble for a solution, losing a day or two of productivity in the process. Don’t be that company.

HIPAA and Online Security

For HIPAA reasons, healthcare related sites should already be secure. Anytime patients are sharing information, even a name on a contact form, regulations require that healthcare organizations safeguard that information.

Medical Practices already have this when credit card information is handled since that has been a requirement from processors for some time. However, many medical practices have been operating under the radar when it comes to transferring HIPAA-protected information across some unsecured portions of their website.

About the Author

Marketing Advice - Brian Dooley, Independence Digital - Medical MarketingBrian Dooley is a healthcare marketer and the founder of Independence Digital, a marketing agency that connects patients to medical providers. He was previously the Director of Marketing and Customer Care for one of the largest urology practices in the nation. Specialties include medical practice websites, increasing patient volume, profitability, and positioning medical providers as best-in-class.