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Why HTTPs over HTTP? Two Big Benefits for Senior Living Communities

It’s that wonderful time of year where your team lives out of its suitcase. Conference continuum, if you will. Between the state-level and national conferences happening in October, it can be both exciting and intimidating to stay current with industry trends, while also prioritizing initiatives to focus on in the coming fiscal year.

As if your team didn’t have enough to prioritize already, seemingly unrelated events like the recent data breach from Equifax shape conversations while raising important questions. Such as – how secure is my community’s website? Whether you were one of the 143 million victims impacted by Equifax’s historic data breach, cybersecurity has gone from IT to mainstream.

To properly frame this conversation, look at your community’s URL. Does it begin with HTTP or HTTPS? This week, we break down the differences, and provide two of the benefits your community will receive in making the switch to HTTPS if it hasn’t already.

HTTP vs. HTTPS

Sometimes, companies only worry about website security after it’s too late. If you’re wondering why HTTPS over HTTP is the preferred choice, website security is probably the biggest reason. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a webmaster to communicate the benefits of an HTTPS migration to the C-suite; but it helps to understand what HTTP and HTTPS are to begin the conversation.

What is HTTP?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and is the system for sending and receiving information across the internet. The data that’s transmitted from point A to point B is sent as clear text – meaning, the priority is that the user is successfully presented the information. HTTP isn’t concerned with how the data gets from point A to point B. Which is certainly problematic, considering that a hacker or outside entity could see the pages you’re visiting and the data you’re transferring.

It’s the equivalent of spending a fortune on a nice home, while leaving the front door perpetually unlocked.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS on the other hand, operates similarly with one distinct difference – the “s”. It stands for “Secure Socket Layer”, technology that encrypts a secure connection to a website, so hackers can’t access the data. This enables the free sharing of documents and information that you or your residents wouldn’t want falling into the wrong hands.

Aside from the obvious benefit of providing a safer online experience for your residents, there are other benefits from migrating over to HTTPS.

1. HTTPS Gives Your Community an SEO Rankings Boost

  1. Looking to outrank the community across town? When websites are neck and neck in search rankings, Google will give weighted preference to websites with HTTPS over a HTTP URL. With Google officially confirming HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014, there’s little reason to have an HTTP URL. HTTPS builds trust and confidence with users, while also directly benefitting your SEO strategy. And HTTPS will only become more important as mobile continues to outpace desktop traffic. Kind of a no-brainer to have this implemented, no?

2. HTTPS Enhances Security for Donations or Payments

  1. Having an HTTPS URL is a MUST for any community that enables the ability to submit confidential credit card information. This could come into play during giving season, when your community’s website receives an influx of donations. You’ll notice online retailers like Amazon have implemented HTTPS. It adds authenticity to the digital experience, ensuring the user that the HTTPS enabled site they’re visiting is the authentic one, and not some phishing scheme.

 

Taking these benefits into account, making the case to the C-suite should be a fairly easy one. The Linkmedia 360 Senior Living team has already made the recommendation to several clients and migrated their websites from HTTP to HTTPS. If your team encounters any difficulty in this process and has a question, don’t hesitate to CONTACT US. Together, we’ll keep your community’s security on lock.

About the Author

BrettBenko

Brett Benko

Senior Digital Solutions Specialist

Brett Benko is a digital solutions specialist. He has a knack for client empathy and constantly challenges himself to derive insight while obtaining tangible results. He graduated from Kent State University in 2012. He remains active in academia, having recently served on selection committees and charitable boards. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, writing fiction and poetry, traveling, and unabashedly sings karaoke (to mixed reactions) with friends.

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