Why You Should Care About Your Real Estate Website Security
In our October 12, 2018 blog, “The Benefits of Using SSL Certificates for Realtor® Websites”, we discussed the reasons why having a secure website is so important. Every business website should be secure, even if you aren’t selling products or doing financial transactions. As a real estate professional, you are running a business and your website should reflect that. Here are a few salient points from that blog to support the need to have a secure website.
What is the Difference Between a Secure and Unsecured Website?
The SSL Certificate is the element on a website designed to prevent unauthorized access and alteration of the site by outside forces. It means the data coming to the site, such as from visitors, and leaving the site, such as through contact forms, is encrypted with a unique code. This means outside forces are not able to intercept the data or hack into the website. These forces may be intentionally malicious, such as hackers, or may even be your internet service provider or public wifi connection. Without the SSL certificate, these forces can access and alter data both on your site and to visitors of your site.
You know a site is secure if if has HTTPS before the rest of the URL. Search engines like Firefox and Google are making it clear when a site is not secure. If you don’t have the SSL certificate, your visitors will be alerted that they are on an unsecured site, and that is NEVER good for business.
What are the risks of NOT having a secure website with SSL certificate
As a professional real estate agent, marketing your services, attracting new clients, and generating leads is extremely important. If you are a new agent, it’s absolutely critical. If you don’t invest in a quality secure website, you’re setting yourself up to be at a disadvantage from the start. Using a page off your broker’s site is also of little use to you if your page isn’t secure. Why is this so?
- Visitors will leave your site when they see plainly that it’s not secure. If you are spending any time or money driving people to your website, you are driving them away if it’s not secure.
- You don’t look like a serious professional if your site in unsecured. You may have many years in the industry, with a list of clients a mile long, but if you don’t appear to be a serious professional online, your status as a successful business is undermined.
- Because your site is at risk to be accessed and altered by outside forces, without the HTTPS, even your internet provider can put ads up on your homepage and you may never know. You won’t see them because they appear to your visitor on their browser. You have no control over what they may do to your site without your permission.
- Your website visitors may have their data stolen as a result of being on your unsecured site. Of course you want people to fill out your contact form, or sign up for your newsletter, but if they do so on your HTTP site, they risk their data getting into the hands of anyone who know how to get it. You don’t want that for your visitors.
- Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Firefox are punishing sites that don’t have the SSL certificate by placing them lower in the ranking. It’s already a challenge to get to the first page in a search. An insecure site will be even harder to find. Search engines want websites to be secure for everyone’s sake and they will likely continue to make it difficult for sites that aren’t complying.
Designing and developing secure websites for Realtors® is what we do. We understand the importance of it, know exactly how to do what’s in our clients’ best interest, and we see the negative consequences when agents don’t take this seriously. Please reach out and let us show you how a professional secure website can make all the difference to your real estate business.