Have you ever seen a padlock display on your web browser’s address bar when you visiting a website? I am sure you did but do you know what does the padlock means to you? The padlock indicates whether the website you are visiting is in HTTPS secure connection. Today we will discuss about HTTPS and what are the benefits of HTTPS.
When you see a green closed padlock, it means that your connection to the website is secure with HTTPS. However, if you see an opened padlock or other icon, it means that your connection to the website is not secure. A non-secure website is vulnerable to hacker’s attack and the data you send to the website could be intercepted.
What is HTTPS?
So, what is HTTPS? HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the extension of HTTP for secure communication between your browser and the website you are connecting to. In this process, HTTPS encrypts connection between the browser and the website using TLS (Transport Layer Security) secure protocol. In other words, the data you send to the website is not in readable plain text, but it’s encrypted.
You need an SSL certificate to activate the HTTPS protocol and allow secure connection from a website to a browser. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. By using HTTPS, it is not only safeguarding your data, but it also shows that the website is legitimate and trusted.
How Does HTTPS Works?
At first, I am hesitating if I should share this section as it is too technical to understand. However, I think it is good that you understand the process behind the HTTPS. I will try my best to explain it as simple as possible.
When you type in a URL with HTTPS connection to a website, the website will send its SSL certificate to your browser. The browser checks the certificate of the site and verifies its legitimacy with the company that issued it.
As we mentioned earlier, an SSL certificate contains a cryptographic key known as public key. This key will be used to begin a secure connection session. The browser will initiate the ‘SSL handshake’, which involves generation of shared secrets to establish a unique secure connection between your browser and the website.
Once your browser verified that the SSL certificate is legitimate during a HTTPS connection, you will see a green closed padlock icon in the browser address bar.
Benefits of HTTPS
The most important benefit of HTTPS is security. When you connect to a website via HTTPS, your connection to the website is secure with encryption. It means that the data you enter to the website is encrypted before it sends out. Therefore no one can intercept your data.
This is extremely important when the transaction you are doing involve sensitive information like username and password or credit card number. Think about what would happen if the connection is not secure and you send your credit card number in plain text.
Besides security, your visitors can verify that you are a registered business and that you own the domain. If you are running an online website selling products, your customers are more like trust you and complete purchases from your site when you use HTTPS.
In 2014, Google announced that having HTTPS will be considered a positive ranking factor. Browser like Chrome will show the “Not secure” warning message when users enter data on an HTTP page. So, you should consider switching your website to HTTPS as soon as possible if you have not done so.
Move Your Website to HTTPS
If you are not sure how to move your website to HTTPS, you may want to check out the tips from Yoast about moving website to HTTPS. However, you should do this carefully as it is quite complicated, and you should have some technical background to do that.
For me, I move my websites to Wealthy Affiliate because it provides free SSL. You can easily do it by using a plugin, it is very straight forward and simple. I have an article showing you the steps to move your website to Wealthy Affiliate.
You should switch over to HTTPS to ensure that your visitor’s information is being sent across to your website in a secure connection. HTTPS is necessary when your website is dealing with monetary transaction, for example an e-commerce website.
In fact, HTTPS is no longer an option but a necessary action to do when you have a website. Whether you are running an e-commerce website or a bakery blog site, you should switch over to HTTPS as soon as possible.
HTTPS not only secure your website’s connection but also improve user experience and gaining trust with your future customers.
Lastly, thank you for stopping by and I hope you like my blog post. If you have any question or comment, please leave me a message in the text box below. 🙂
To Your Success,
Kwah Choon Hiong