What if there was a way to easily provide secure connections for everyone visiting your website. That would be really good, don’t you think?

You know your webmaster has an obsession about security, right? I insist on all Oakley Studio clients using strong passwords — at least 12 characters long, a mix of upper & lowercase letters, numbers, and other (!{&-]$=#^+%) characters. No pet names, no favorite place names, no words that you can find in a dictionary. And no using the same username and password everywhere. Your WordPress Dashboard login should be different from your Gmail login, and should be different from your online banking login. You know that, right?

I like to tell people, “Our brand represents defense against the dark side of the internet.” Good security begins with strong passwords. But it doesn’t end there. That’s why today we are making a special announcement…

Secure Connections for Everyone

Oakley Studio wants to provide not only a more secure online experience for each of our clients, but also a more secure online experience for everyone visiting Oakley Studio websites. Starting in January, 2018, all new websites we host will — by default — use SSL encryption for secure end-to-end connections. That means when you log into your Dashboard, you do so over a secure encrypted connection. Whenever anyone visits your website, they get routed via a secure encrypted connection. All website traffic into and out of Oakley Studio servers will by default be encrypted.

As you are reading this web page on our Oakley Studio website, you are doing so over a secure encrypted connection!

In practical terms, no incoming or outgoing data can be intercepted along the way. No one can read the data stream in clear text. Any malicious interloper that attempts to “listen in” to your browser traffic will find only meaningless gibberish. No visible passwords, no personal data, no credit card data, no private account numbers or usernames. SSL (“Secure Socket Layer”) encryption also prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from capturing and storing information about you and the websites you visit.

Establishing encrypted connections like this has been possible for many years, but until recently it was expensive to implement. You needed to have a “Secure Digital Certificate” issued by a certifying authority that independently verifies your business and certifies the authenticity of your website.

Thank the EFF and ServerPilot

Today, very affordable end-to-end encryption between web browsers and secure servers is made possible through the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which believes that our right to privacy is a fundamental human right worth protecting on the internet.

The EFF has created the means for even a small website hosting firm like Oakley Studio to offer SSL encryption to our clients at an affordable price. Their product is called “Let’s Encrypt,” and it is implemented through an “Application Programming Interface”  (API) that any webmaster with some technical skill can use.

We employ a third party service called ServerPilot to monitor and maintain the security of all Oakley Studio web servers. We rely on ServerPilot as a trusted partner in our business. They are responsible for automatically applying security updates and patches to the operating systems on our servers. ServerPilot keeps our servers secure. ServerPilot also allows us to generate private Secure Digital Certificates for any individual sites on our servers. This is how we are able to provide SSL encrypted connections for all our client’s websites.

What is “SSL?”

“SSL,” also known as “Secure Socket Layer” is an encryption protocol that’s built into all modern web browsers. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, Windows 10 Explorer — all the current browsers available today provide the means for a web browser on any computer to establish a secure connection with any website. Whenever you see the padlock icon in your browser’s address field, you know you are using a secure SSL connection. Another indicator is a website address that starts with “https://” — the “s” is for “secure.”

The vast majority of web servers on the internet do not offer secure encrypted connections to all their visitors. Because of our unusual interest in protecting the privacy and security of our clients and visitors, Oakley Studio is on the leading edge in implementing secure connections for everyone. It is a differentiator that separates Oakley Studio from other competitors in this industry.

Big Security, Small Price Tag

Oakley Studio cannot offer secure connections for everyone without some cost. But we believe it is the right thing to do. We’ve been able to see a way through to do it very affordably. Starting in January 2018, our monthly website hosting prices will be going up. We will need to charge a few dollars more at each hosting Level in order to implement this added security for everyone.

A big benefit, we believe, is that your website will get a boost in search engine ranking just for using SSL connections. Better ranking makes your site easier for people to find. More people coming to your website means more opportunity to sell your products and services. And everyone using your website will enjoy the added protection provided by SSL encrypted connections.

We will not force any existing clients to upgrade their websites to use SSL encryption… but we will be contacting each of you and encouraging you to choose secure connections — not only for yourself on the internet but for everyone who visits your website.

If you have any questions or concerns about the roll-out of this new basic service, please post comments below. I look forward to being able to serve you in new ways as we enter a new year, and I believe Oakley Studio serves us all very well indeed by offering secure connections for everyone.