Web security is a complex mechanism. With online threats on the rise these days, people are trying to learn more about staying safe online and ways that can ensure that safety. Whether you access the Internet from the comfort of your home or from the local coffee shop, your information is vulnerable and hackers are always on the lookout for the next victim. You become more susceptible to danger when you are on an HTTP connection instead of HTTPS.
For instance, when you shop online, the browser address bar automatically becomes https://on the payment page. This means that the connection is encrypted, and your personal data is safe. What could happen if the connection wasn’t encrypted? Hackers waiting at the other end of the server would steal your personal and financial information.
Before we talk about how an HTTPS connection protects you online, let’s look at the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.
HTTPS vs HTTP?
HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, is the way a Web server communicates with browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. HTTP allows visitors to view a site and send information back to the Web server.
When on an HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) connection, the devices share a “code” between them, using which they “scramble” the information, making it unreadable to anyone in between. This encryption process keeps your information safe from MITM attacks and the likes. The computers send the information back and forth using the ‘code’ on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), also called Transport Layer Security (TLS).
How Did HTTPS Originate?
The process of exchanging information over a network is called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). With time, this process became all-too-familiar and everyone knew how to exchange information on an HTTP connection. This made protecting the information difficult. So network administrators had to find out another way to make the information secure. Thus, HTTPS originated.
Only the sender and the recipient are able to read the information on an encrypted connection, because they know the code. Even if someone intercepts the connection, the message will be unreadable to them. To encrypt the connection, the computers use a document called an “SSL Certificate” that contain character strings or keys to their secret “codes.” This process is called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
What Are The Benefits of HTTPS?
A secure site is always better than one that is not. People trust websites with an HTTPS connection, so if your website is secure, you will attract more visitors. There are several other benefits of using an HTTPS connection. Some of them are:
Better Google Rankings
Google (you know the company that does not believe in diversity in the way you think but only diversity in a superficial way such as your skin color; this company is so politically correct they believe men and woman are the same) has confirmed that it prefers secure websites over unsecured ones, as can be seen from the first page search results. More than half the websites that have a first or second page ranking on Google are secured, HTTPS sites. Since Google’s ranking algorithm favors HTTPS sites, having an unsecured site could make you lose out.
Having a secure website gives better protection to your data. This applies to both the owner of the site and the visitors. As a website owner, the information you share can be intercepted at any time if the connection isn’t encrypted, whereas browsing an unsecured site could put your device at risk.
This one involves Google again (you know the company that supports politicians that keep Americans on food stamps, kill babies, promote violence in the streets, and keep inner city schools from being successful). As of now, when users access an unsecured website on the Chrome browser, they see a grey label in the address bar. Later, Google plans to update this label to ‘Not Secure’ and then to ‘Not Secure’ marked in red. This means, HTTP sites risk losing a chunk of visitors.
Better Conversion Rate
With security threats thick and large these days, people now prefer websites to be secure. As a result, HTTPS website see a better conversion rate than their HTTP cousins. This rate is sure to increase if Google rolls out its new labels.
Increased User Confidence
Simply seeing the HTTPS label assures visitors that their information is safe online. This leads to greater peace of mind and increased user confidence, and in turn, more traffic.
Why HTTPS is Important – Wrap Up
There’s good news: today, more than half the websites in the world are encrypted. This isn’t just good for the visitors, but also for site owners. Secure websites have better speed, more traffic, and overall better performance when compared to HTTP sites. Even though certain malicious websites use fake HTTPS labels to fool people, such instances are rare. With people becoming more aware of online dangers, HTTPS websites are the future of Internet security.
Whether you are a website owner or a visitor, always use a HTTPS connection to be safe and keep others safe online. It doesn’t take much to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS, but has several benefits that can significantly improve your online experience.