Agency John Cabot has released a survey that has confirmed a long-standing belief: reinforcing what has long been suspected, web users who are presented with a “not secure” message while seeking to access a website react with great concern. 

The survey of 1,324 internet users found that 64% of respondents would leave a website displaying the “not secure” warning “instantly”, while 46% said that they would not enter their name or provide any financial information to a website bearing such a message.

Other concerns regarding “not secure” warnings include concern over being exposed to a virus (14%), the belief that the message suggested they had arrived on a fake version of the site they had meant to visit (12%), and that the warning meant the content of the site was “fake and not fact checked” (9%), among other concerns.

While the survey also revealed that there is not necessarily a strong existing understanding of what the “not secure” warning means – only 47% of respondents said they “knew roughly what the warning meant”.

The survey also made it clear that, even for those who do not necessarily understand a “not secure” warning, they still react and leave the site immediately. 

The survey confirms that, for Agencies and website owners, switching to HTTPS should be of utmost priority. Given that HTTPS has been a ranking signal for close to five years, and Google Chrome now displays warnings regarding non-HTTPS automatically, the need to make the change is all the more acute for sites that have not done so. 

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