We’ve previously spoken about the importance of having a website supported by an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate demonstrates to customers that there is a secure connection between them and the website. A secure connection is particularly vital on websites that support online payments or collect personal contact data on users, and an SSL certificate validates that security.

The typical green padlock next to the URL in the web browser demonstrates to the user that the website is secure, and they can trust it to keep their personal details safe.

SSL certificates are administered by certificate authorities (CAs) like Symantec or GeoTrust. CAs authenticate the organisation is who it says it is, and they manage the encryption for transactions efficiently.

However, it’s been announced that from August, the Google Chrome browser will begin to mistrust certain SSL certificates. Due to upcoming changes in Google Chrome, SSL certificates from the Symantec group that were administered before June 1st 2016 will become mistrusted. This will remove the green padlock from a website, and users may even be presented with a warning page by the browser before they can access the page. This is significant as in 2015 Symantec issued over 30% of the web’s SSL certificates.

This is all part of Google’s efforts to make the internet a safer place for everyone. “We propose to require that all newly-issued certificates must have validity periods of no greater than 9 months (279 days) in order to be trusted in Google Chrome, effective Chrome 61,” said Ryan Sleevi from Google. This validity period will change depending on the version of the browser though.

It’s expected that other major web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge will follow Google’s directive and will also start to mistrust older SSL certificates.

For companies and websites who are running an old Symantec SSL certificate, the solution is pretty simple. They just have to return to their provider and re-issue their certificate. Updating the certificate in this way will ensure that they are once again trusted by Google Chrome and other browsers, and websites will be shown as secure.

For Fasthosts customers, if any of your SSL certificates need re-issuing we will contact you with details of how you can do this. There is no fee for re-issuing your certificate, and it will not affect its expiry date.

For more information on SSL certificates visit the Fasthosts support site.