SmartEtailing Blog

Securing Your SmartEtailing Website With SSL

Posted by Alex Wheeler on Oct 20, 2017 4:48:37 PM
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SmartEtailing is committed to keeping your website aligned with modern best practices so we are making another major reinvestment in our infrastructure that will enhance your site security and performance.

We are in the process of implementing what we internally are calling “Full Site SSL”. This project broadly has two components:

  1. Installing an SSL certificate on every retailer website
  2. Reconfiguring shopping cart functionality for improved security, performance, and user experience

Important For SmartEtailing Clients

If you are a SmartEtailing client who is contacted by our Support team to collaborate on this process for your website, please prioritize the communication so we can help your business capitalize on holiday shopping traffic to your website.

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a part of an internet protocol named HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data remains private. This added layer of security is especially important on sites with online sales functionality.

SSL certificates are critical to encrypt sensitive data, protect businesses and consumers from cyber criminals, and build trust between businesses and consumers.

Google, Moving Towards a More Secure Web

You may have received a notification recently from Google which they have sent to virtually all website owners stating that Google is making changes to accelerate the rate websites adopt enhanced security measures.

Emily Schechter from the Google Chrome Security Team shared, “Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the “Not secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites.”

To help users browse the web safely, Chrome indicates connection security with an icon in the address bar. Historically, Chrome has not explicitly labeled HTTP connections as non-secure.

With the recent the release of Google Chrome Version 62 there is a mandate that all sites be secure with a current SSL certificate. This is to meet the expectations of privacy and protection for today’s internet users and Google has implemented some functionality into the Chrome browser that communicates to consumers more overtly than in the past whether a site is secure or not.

What Parts of SmartEtailing Were Secure Before?

Your SmartEtailing website has always had a secure shopping cart and customer account portal to ensure that payment information and customer personal details are secured. Until recently, when a shopper on your website advanced to “checkout”, their browser automatically redirected the user to a secondary domain “securecart.net” which was fully secure. We are now incorporating the shopping cart into your primary domain so the consumer has a more fluid shopping experience and protecting your whole website with the same level of protection.

What Does SSL Mean For You and Your Customers?

Consumers place a tremendous value on security and fundamentally it is in everyone’s best interest to protect consumers and businesses from vulnerabilities. Completing this process will give your customers confidence to shop your site without worrying about their personal information. For the retailer, providing a safe and secure online shopping experience means removing another barrier to better website sales. As Google in particular continues to make changes that favor secure sites then your website will continue to comply with best practices for ideal search performance.

How Does the Change to Full Site SSL Work?

SmartEtailing launched a phased rollout placing SSL certificates on sites hosted on our servers. The project is ongoing and all SmartEtailing websites will have valid SSL certificates. The majority of SmartEtailing websites have domain names on the SmartEtailing DNS servers which means we have complete control of the business-by-business process of completing the installation process. We expect this process to be completed before the holiday shopping season is upon us.

There are many SmartEtailing customers who have independent DNS servers. In these cases our Support team is proactively working with clients to collaboratively make this change. If you are a SmartEtailing customer who receives a notification from our Support team about this issue please prioritize the conversation so we can implement this solution with you soon.

Everyone will benefit from this change. Once all SmartEtailing customers have SSL certificates in place it allows us to make further changes to our overall infrastructure that will further improve platform security and performance.

Our team is working to ensure that all hyperlinks, pages, forms, and embedded content function on websites with this upgrade. There are many layers of complexity related to these changes which our Support team is prepared to assist with. If you experience problems with your website once this change is implemented please contact Support.

Will My Site Still Work Without SSL?

Yes. If your site is still in the process of migrating, it will continue to display as normal, however, messages alerting users that the site is not secure will be present. For those retailers with active shopping carts, it is important to note that the cart is already secure. When the customer transitions to checkout on your site, they are automatically moved to an HTTPS domain with a valid SSL certificate.

Common Issues SmartEtailing Clients May Encounter

If you are a SmartEtailing client at some phase in this process you might expect one or more of the following. If any of these occur, please take the appropriate action or contact SmartEtailing Support for assistance.

  1. You receive an email from SmartEtailing asking for assistance. Please respond.
  2. You discover hyperlinks that don’t work on your site because the direct link is not automatically redirecting to the new “https” variation.
  3. You discover images that aren’t loading because the images are hosted on a non-secure third-party server that is not secure.
  4. Pages may not load with a message stating “Cross domain functionality denied” which can occur if an image, form, or iFrame is installed on the page which is entirely or partially hosted with a third-party that is not secure.
  5. Your password manager may not recognize your secure client login because the URL has changed from “http” to “https”.

What Do You Need To Do?

SmartEtailing is taking a proactive role with each and every retailer and we will contact you if we have questions. But if you encounter any of the common issues above then please contact SmartEtailing Support.

We can’t stress enough, if your DNS is hosted independently then you will be receiving a message from SmartEtailing requesting your assistance. PLEASE REPLY IMMEDIATELY.

Your assistance will allow us to secure your personal website faster but also you will be contributing to the overall security of your peers who also use SmartEtailing for their website and marketing needs.

Topics: Websites, Client Updates