'Not Secure' Website Warning
Real Estate Website Security
“Your connection to this site is not secure”
Google just announced that starting October 2017, Chrome will label all unencrypted websites as “Not Secure“. This is a warning that everyone visiting your website will see.
What does "Not Secure" mean?The danger with not secure websites is that everything is exposed to hackers. Even novice hackers can see what’s happening on your website by snooping over public Wi-Fi, compromising internet routers, or other popular tricks.
Your clients are at risk
So what?Each time your clients or leads:
- fill out your forms, their emails and phone numbers are open to spying
- search for listings, their price range, and thus financial status is exposed
- create an account on your site, their password is in danger of being stollen
- look at listings, all their home & neighbourhood preferences are visible to hackers
How Google says all non-encrypted websites will appear
Who is affected?There are over 21,000 "Not Secure" REALTOR® and Broker websites in Canada today. All of these sites will show the scary warning after October 2017.
Every homebuyer and seller will see this warning, and be put off — or scared off
Are hackers really interested in my website?When it comes to the housing market, yes. Any information about homebuyers is a goldmine. It can be sold to telemarketers, email spammers, and even legitimate advertisers.
And it’s not just hackers. Whenever you’re on the internet, whoever is providing the internet to you may monitor everything you do, and sell that information to anyone. Just recently, Bell was caught selling customer browser history to advertisers. In the US, this is now legal.
Homebuyer data is a goldmine
Why is public Wi-Fi so scary?Everyone uses it. And everything people do on "Not Secure" sites is vulnerable to hacking.
An alarming 2017 PEW survey exposed that over twenty percent of those asked admitted to online shopping or banking on public Wi-Fi. And the latest Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report warns this gives hackers total access to sensitive data.
Free exposure to hacking
Even if security isn't your biggest concern...... you should still care about the warning message.
As Chrome starts scaring people that visit your website, you'll see a drop off in leads. Less people will fill out your forms, or make accounts on your site. And more will flock to your competition with secured websites.
Nervous leads won't fill out your forms — they'll leave your website
What does encryption do?Encryption solves all these problems. Only you can see what your clients and leads do on your website. When every page is encrypted, hackers and spying internet providers are completely blinded.
Even on public Wi-Fi, all your client's home searches are safe. Encryption is the only way to hide Chrome's new warning message.
Safe clients = Happy clients
Do it for the SEOIf removing scary warnings isn't rewarding enough, site-wide encryption improves SEO.
Google now rewards encrypted websites, giving them a ranking boost. Encrypted real estate websites appear higher on Google, giving diligent REALTORS® a competitive advantage. So there’s a real SEO benefit to encrypting your entire website.
Encryption = better SEO
What sites are encrypted these days?All major websites. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and even Realtor.ca, all moved to full encryption years ago.
But when it comes to REALTORS® and Brokers, you’re lagging behind.
Other than Gavamedia, no real estate website developers offer site-wide encryption. While Gavamedia has been encrypting all their websites since 2015, no one else has taken the initiative. This is despite repeated warnings from Google.
REALTORS® and Brokers are left behind
Why isn’t everyone doing this?There’s no good excuse in 2017. In a nutshell, real estate webmasters have put their own interests first, and their REALTOR® clients second.
Websites are not encrypted by default. Adding security takes extra time and knowhow, and that means extra costs. It requires regular maintenance, and a staff with a higher skill level.
Most REALTORS® aren’t aware of the security and privacy dangers, so website developers don’t think you’re worth the extra investment.
When something is hard, and has no personal gain, most companies won’t do it.
How is Gavamedia different?
We encrypt everything, everywhere, all the time.
We add free website encryption to all our REALTOR® and Broker websites automatically.
This is almost never requested — but we do it anyway. Always.
Insisting on security for everyone is another example of us going above-and-beyond, whether it goes noticed or not. We believe that only when your website is labelled ”Secure”, can you honestly say you put your client’s interests first.
Share your knowledgeMost REALTORS® don't know how to get rid of the "Not Secure" warning. Even fewer understand the dangers of an insecure real estate website.
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