DEALERSHIP website rankings could suffer if they don’t have SSL certificates, Dragon2000 has warned.
The firm, which specialises in dealer management systems, websites and mobile apps for the automotive industry, says that over the past 12 months, Google has been warning Chrome browser users about websites without SSL certificates not being secure. Soon, the search engine will be penalising firms that don’t have the certificate by dropping their rankings, meaning SSL-certificated websites will be favoured above those without them in Google searches.
Google’s eventual plan is to show a red warning triangle so that visitors are clearly warned about sites that aren’t secure, and Dragon2000 says there is a high chance that visitors will leave an unsecured site, which could result in dealers losing online inquiries.
Websites with an SSL certificate have an encrypted connection with the visitor’s browser, a padlock symbol is displayed and the address bar shows ‘https’ in front of the website address. Without one, the website address will start with ‘http’ instead, and the lack of the ‘s’ makes the browser see the site as not secure, leaving information sent along it, such as credit card details and personal information, potentially at risk of being intercepted and viewed or modified.
Mark Kelland, commercial manager at Dragon2000, said: ‘The recent ransomware cyber attacks have made consumers more aware of the risks of visiting unsecured websites.
‘It is becoming increasingly important for dealers to prove that the connection between the visitor’s browser and their website is secure and the data that customers send to the dealer’s website, such as inquiry details and their email addresses, are safe, which is where an SSL certificate comes in. Consumers need to see that dealers are taking security seriously or they will simply give the website a miss.
‘Dealers who are able to address concerns about safety will win business over dealers that do not reassure customers. We have recently introduced SSL certificates to all our dealer websites as standard, at no extra charge to customers.’
Dragon2000’s software is used by more than 1,000 motor trade dealers and independent workshops in the UK and overseas.
Main picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
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