Internet privacy has become one of the most talked-about concerns for all online users. The technological advancements that are ploughing its way in digital channels, e-commerce, AI and social media have made the task difficult for website users with all the requirements around and to stay safe in the cyber world.
One way to avoid adding to the cybersecurity anxiety and becoming an unsecured channel is to install an SSL certificate and migrate to HTTPS.
HTTP vs HTTPS
Let us try to understand the difference between the two.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a process for sharing information between online users (sender) and the servers where specific website/digital information is stored (receiver).
A practical example of HTTP at work is when you type in a website URL into your browser you are sending a command to the server the website is hosted on to deliver specific content and information on a specific page you requested to see. Each URL on a website has different commands to render different information. The main thing to keep in mind about HTTP is that this platform does not care how the data gets from A to B, but rather that it gets there. This makes intercepting requests between senders and receivers, and hacking websites a lot easier.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) is fundamentally different to its HTTP counterpart in that its main aim is to focus on how data gets from A and B and to make sure that no one else can understand the requests between the sender and the receiver.
HTTP was one of the landmark steps in developing the internet as it is today. Sadly, with that evolution in technology came the opportunities for manipulation, interception and hacking giving rise to the birth of HTTPS. It adds an encryption layer between the sender and the receiver and anyone who intercepts the message would not be able to understand it. Thanks to a specific set of code by SSL certificate.
A Secure Sockets Layer certificate is what changes your HTTP to HTTPS. It is the global standard of web security that allows data to be encrypted. Another way to think SSL is “digital passport”. It blocks unauthorised access and allows access only when specific criteria are met. This helps to protect personal information like email id, card numbers, username, passwords etc.
The SSL certificates fall into 3 main categories SINGLE, WILDCARD and MULTI-DOMAIN. These also have different validation levels, namely DOMAIN VALIDATION, ORGANISATIONAL VALIDATION and EXTENDED VALIDATION.
Why do you need it?
The single most important reason why your website needs an SSL certificate, and have an HTTPS domain, is to prevent intruders or hackers from tampering with the messages that are being sent between senders and receivers. Intruders and hackers can create malicious attacks on unsecured messages that are being sent and can manipulate a sender or receiver into giving up sensitive information or inject code that can create a ransom situation.
Such attacks can be initiated by manipulating scripts, cookies, images, HTML etc.
HTTPS protects the senders and receivers from such attacks by removing the ability to listen and watch the messages being sent.
Benefits of HTTPS
For users, privacy is of utmost importance. It quickly becomes evident that users get what they want with HTTPS by getting the security they need to protect their privacy.
Search engines and web browsers have become more focussed on the end-user and aim to keep them informed by labelling websites as secure and non-secure. Users now know when it is safe to hand over private information and when they should move along and Google has great plans to make it very well known when a website is not HTTPS.
For companies, it provides opportunities in a secure way by providing more conversions, customer trust, enhanced organisational security and higher SEO rankings.
The key take-way is security. If the migration to HTTPS is done properly it can boost the SEO and build trust and confidence in your company and using the website.