Fife businesses warned of drop in web traffic after browser update

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Up to half of all businesses in Fife are likely to have seen a big drop in website traffic, after Google started labelling their websites as “not secure”.

The internet giant has made a major change to its Chrome browser, according to Howard Coates at Coates IT – a specialist company formed in 1996 and now working with dozens of businesses across Fife.

“Without getting techy, if your website isn’t encrypted, Chrome now warns visitors to be careful,” explained Howard.

“And many of them will choose not to visit your website, wrongly thinking it will infect their computer with something.

“Problem is, Chrome is the number one browser used in the UK. That’s a lot of traffic to risk.”

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You can tell if a website is encrypted by the letters that appear before www, in the bar at the top, when you’re looking at a site.

If it says https:// then the site is encrypted.

But if there’s no ‘s’ – it’s just http:// – then the website is not encrypted and that will trigger the warning from Chrome.

This is part of a major campaign by Google that’s been underway for a number of years.

It wants all websites to be encrypted, to protect data transferred between sites and our computers.

Howard continued: “The good news is that fixing this can be done easy and cheaply.

“It’s one of those things that Fife businesses can get done for them, and then forget about.”