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By Jay Levine 

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The Chrome web browser has launched a new update this July to alert visitors if the website they’re visiting is secure or “Not Secure”. This can be scary for patients looking to submit personal information on your website as identity theft affected 15 million people in 2017 alone.

Online security has become a huge priority for websites that collect HIPAA compliant patient data, require a password, conduct purchases (ie patient payments) or have private information that users may want to keep confidential. This is no surprise as HubSpot Research’s consumer survey found that 82% of website visitors will leave a website if it’s not secure. Considering that the Chrome Browser dominates 59% of the market share, your endodontic practice website will appear “not secure” to over half of your website visitors without being marked with HTTPS.  This means having a non-secure website will cause 8 out of 10 patients to leave your site.

Building trust with new, referred and existing patients is extremely important and they want to feel confident in sharing their information with your practice. The best way to start building trust with patients is their first point of impression: your secured website.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and Chrome marks your website as secure if “https” is at the beginning of your URL domain name. When you secure your website with HTTPS; you give your patients and referring doctors peace of mind to browse and submit personal information without the worry it’s being stolen or shared.

How Do I Make My Website Secure?

To implement HTTPS, you will need to contact your website hosting provider and get an SSL/TLS certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer while TLS for Transport Layer Security and both encrypt information passed through the internet like transmitting passwords, patient data, credit cards or other personal information to and from your website’s server.

How Will I Know If My Site Is Secure?

Once you have an installed SSL/TLS certificate on your website server, your website will display HTTPS and the iconic lock symbol next to your web domain. Another additional benefit of HTTPS – the protocol is now a ranking factor in Google Search. Secure sites rank higher and are more visible on Google search results – another way in which SSL beneficially impacts your practice.

As the endorsed Website Design and Marketing Firm for the American Association of Endodontists, PBHS makes sure client websites are secure. Practices managed by PBHS are setup with  complimentary HTTPS/SSL/TLS security. Please call PBHS with any questions at 1-800-840-5383 and mention you’re a member of the AAE.

Jay Levine is president and CEO of PBHS, the endorsed website design and marketing firm of the AAE.