Coming to a web browser near you from December 2019, is a new update that might cause your website some big problems! ‘Mixed Content’ is the new bogeyman in the web security world, so Google and others are putting a stop to it for good. This is great for security, but bad news for businesses with poorly configured websites.
Most modern websites now use SSL certificates, this ‘certifies’ that your website is secure and all information sent to or from your website is encrypted (much like your online bank or a payment provided). I have offered SSL certificates as part of new web design projects for the last few years, as standard, because this has now become a necessary bit of kit for all websites.
The Mixed Content problem occurs when your website is transmitting the majority of its resources through this encrypted connection, but contains elements that are from unsecure sources. Perhaps you have included some images that are hosted on a different website that isn’t secure, or you have simply forgotten to update all of the image links on your website from your old, unsecure system (http), to your new secure system (https).
Previously, most web browsers allowed this setup, but would display a warning in the address bar to inform website users that their connection might not be entirely secure. This is because a single resource, loaded from a unsecure system, could allow data to be leaked and might open up website users to hackers and other online nasties.
From December 2019, Google will be updating their Chrome browser to block resources from unsecure sources. Meaning that images and other resources will not load automatically and your website could be left with blank spaces and security warnings. Google have said that they will try to find the secure version of the missing content automatically (by trying the same URL with the https prefix) and will also allow users to choose to load content at their own risk. However, it’s safe to say that most web users will listen to Google’s warnings and will be put off by websites that appear to pose a security risk.
If you think that your website may have unsecure elements that need fixing, drop me a message and I would be happy to check your website for you.