In its efforts of making sure that all its users will have the optimal and safe experience, Google’s very own web browser, Google Chrome, has recently announced that they will start blocking insecure content or mixed content on web pages by default. This new feature is gradually taking effect next month and will be rolled out completely starting 2020.

To understand this latest update fully, let’s examine what is mixed content and how it could massively affect the overall user experience of your website.

What is Mixed Content?

Mixed content refers to the combination of secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) resources which include scripts, stylesheets, images, video and other content linked on a webpage. So if a webpage loads through HTTPS but is using other content served through HTTP protocol, it can be tagged as having mixed content.

Mixed Content Comparison: Insecure vs Secure Pages

 

Why is Mixed Content Bad For Your Website?

According to Google’s developer page, having mixed content can degrade the security of a page. It can also compromise the overall user experience of your website as it is more prone to attackers that can take eavesdrop on your browsers requests, website visits and stealing private information that can be used to any fraudulent activities.

Loading a webpage with mixed content also leads to confusing browser security for your users as they are viewing a page that is both secure and non-secure. This may result in keystrokes being monitored, cookies being tracked and fetching your users’ private information to be used maliciously.

Insecure web pages can also affect the SEO performance of your website. Security is a strong ranking factor, and Google has confirmed that its SERP algorithm gives less ranking priority to websites that do not serve over HTTPS. Not only will you lose potential customers through poor user experience but also your hard-earned search result rankings.

How to Make Sure You Avoid Being Blocked?

Expect that starting in January 2020, Google Chrome will refuse to load HTTPS webpages that include HTTP resources. In order to avoid being blocked through insecure content, website owners must do the necessary countermeasures to ensure that HTTPS configurations across the web are updated and most importantly, secure.

Here’s what you can do to check which mixed content error needs fixing.

Load your website then Right Click and choose Inspect Element to launch the developer tools console, or you can press Control + Shift + I. Click the Security tab to check if there are any mixed content related warning messages.

Inspect Page Element: Mixed Content

You also need to make sure that there’s an SSL certificate actively installed on your website. Having an SSL certificate can be a great foundation of security for your website.

If your website runs on WordPress CMS, there are available plugins such as SSL Insecure Content that you can use to determine which resources are causing the errors and fix it. Alternatively, you can use online testing sites like WhyNoPadLock to manage your web security.

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