(May 30, 2006)
Life is full of unexpected surprises. There are many opportunities when one can secretly wish for something exciting to happen – something out of the ordinary. The real surprise is when the wish unexpectedly comes true. I never believed that something like this could ever happen to me; such a thing that would make me stop and look back at the events in awe. I think you would agree that something as simple as being lost in the forest for less than ten minutes should have no influence on my life. If you do agree, that makes both of us wrong.
Throughout my childhood, I loved the wild. My family and I would always go for a walk in the downtown forest of Coote’s Paradise. There were many times I thought of what could happen if we were to lose our way from the trail and have to live off of the land until we found our way back to civilization. I thought it would be the greatest experience ever.
As my brothers and I grew older, we continued to go for these walks with our parents but the dreams of living in the forest I soon forgot. That’s when it happened. We decided to take a different path off the main trail. Before I knew it, the path had disappeared and no one in my family could tell where we had come from. It was so unexpected. It gave me a feeling of excitement that can’t be described. Everything in the forest seemed different. The trees were a deeper shade of green. The birds chirped in a different tone. Vines covered almost every inch of the ground. One part of me never wanted this moment to end. I felt completely free from the stress of my life outside of the woods. It was this moment that I realized that I would much rather stay here for the rest of my life than go back to society.
I think that another reason that I felt carefree was because my parents didn’t panic. They took the situation under control and headed for any open area in hopes to find a map (many of these maps were found throughout the grounds, telling you where you were). From my point of view, at the time, it seemed as if they were excited as I was about losing our way. In the end, it only took my parents ten minutes to find such a map and we were back on the trail in no time.
An experience like this made me think about my place in life. I’m the type who loves seeking out adventures. When we were lost, I realized that I had everything I would ever need with me – my family. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. This experience made me realize that families need to stick together; you don’t realize how much you need them until, for a moment, you think they’ll be the last people you see for the rest of your life.
It’s incredible how much a simple thing like being lost in a forest for ten minutes will affect your outlook on life. Things like not being able to find your way back to where you came from make you appreciate the little things in life. Looking back on the day, I realize now that it was fate. Moments like that are few and far between and should be taken as a lesson. Surprises like this were, and always will be, an unexpected gift for all.
If you own a website that hasn't yet been converted over to HTTPS, Google has an unpleasant surprise coming for you in October.
Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a "Not secure" warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page or when they view any non-HTTPS page in Incognito mode. The alert will appear to the left of Chrome's address bar, as shown below.
Up until now, the "Not secure" warning only appeared on non-HTTPS website pages that accepted a username and password or credit card. Now every non-HTTPS form and all non-HTTPS pages viewed in incognito mode will have this warning.
Google's been pushing for a more secure Internet for some time now, and this warning ramp up is their latest way of nudging website owners into the fully converted camp.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It's the communications protocol which allows networked devices to talk to one another. HTTP defines how network messages should be formatted, sent and interpreted and every addressable piece of content on the Internet uses HTTP.
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Communications between two interconnected HTTPS devices is encrypted and therefore much harder for third parties to interpret, alter, and/or delete.
How Can You Tell if Your Site Has Been Converted?
There are several ways you can tell if your website has been converted over to HTTPS.
The easiest is to ask your website developer - he or she can tell you whether the site has been completely converted over to HTTPS.
A second option is to register your website with Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools). It's a free Google web service which offers many benefits, including the ability to receive notifications from Google.
In August, Google started notifying registered website owners with non-HTTPS content if they were going to be impacted - here's an example notification.
A third option is to open a browser and view your website. Look at the address bar in the top left-hand corner. Do you see a green padlock and the word "Secure" like shown below? If yes, this page of your website has been successfully converted to HTTPS.
If you see something like below (no green padlock and the words "Not secure" in grey), your content is still HTTP (or partially HTTP) and the grey "Not secure" wording will soon turn red.
The downside of this approach is that you have to view every page on your website one-by-one before you can be sure they've all been converted successfully. It's not at all uncommon to see partially converted content and websites.
There are other tools (like Jitbit and Screaming Frog) which you can use to scan your website and highlight pages which have not yet been converted, but the problem is not every file / URL needs to be converted.
For example, if your site's linking out to an external resource, that file doesn't have to be HTTPS in order for your page to display green.
Unless you're intimate with the technical details of your website, it's probably best to ask your website developer or to register your website with Google Search Console.
What Does All This Mean For Website Owners?
It means if you've not converted your website over to HTTPS, starting in October 2017 incognito visitors are going to receive a warning every time they visit your website.
GlobalWebIndex estimates that 46% of international website users use private (incognito) windows for browsing, so you can expect roughly half your audience will see the warning.
Non-incognito visitors will receive a warning only if they interact with one of your forms. If you use a non-HTTPS order, contact us, subscribe, unsubscribe, download, and/or any other type of form on your website, expect visitors to soon see this warning.
You're Not Alone
Moz, an SEO tools provider, recently reported that roughly half of page 1 Google search results are HTTPS. That means you're not alone if your website hasn't yet been converted. It also means website visitors have lots of other options when they're searching, and you'll potentially remain at a disadvantage until you do.
Which camp are you in? What's holding you back?