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What the end of SHA-1 support means for your website's security

Have you ever wondered why there's a green padlock icon in the address bar of your browser for many of the sites you visit online? Chances are you're not the only one. The green padlock icon is there to let you know that the website is secured with a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. An SSL on your site prevents other websites from stealing your website's information and pretending to be you. While SSLs provide an extra layer of security for now, that may not be the case soon.

Since the early 1990's, websites have been using SSLs based on the Secure Hash Algorithm 1, better known as SHA-1. The SHA-1 encryption method has become less effective, and will likely be cracked by cyber criminals within the next couple years. Due to inevitable breach, many internet browsers are discontinuing their support of SHA-1 and are switching over to the SHA-2 encryption method by January 1, 2017. Tech giants, such as Microsoft and Google, have been waiting until that date to discontinue their support of SHA-1 encryption. With the increasing possibility of the SHA-1 encryption being cracked before then, companies are advocating for SHA-2 encryption to be adopted as the new standard before then and dropping SHA-1 support.

Website security is always important. That's why Foremost Media has been using SHA-2 encryption since April 2014. We believe nothing is more important than ensuring your website is secure. We knew that SHA-1 encryption was becoming obsolete and that SHA-2 encryption was stronger and becoming more widely supported. With that in mind, we made sure that our client's websites stayed ahead of the curve and were secured with SHA-2 encryption.

Despite the dangers posed by having an insecure website, one out of every four websites with SSLs are still using the outdated SHA-1 encryption. With SHA-1 encryption, the question isn't if your website information will be stolen, it's when.

Check and see what type of SSL encryption your website is currently using with this free tool. If your website isn't using the latest SHA-2 security standards, contact us to learn more about why you need an SSL or give us a call at (608) 470-8935 today!