What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the secure version of HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), this is the protocol that is used to send data between your web browser and the website that you are connected to. HTTPS is most commonly used on websites that provide Banking Transactions and Online Shopping Websites, this ensures that the data that is sent to the website is securely encrypted. Web Browsers notify you of a secure site by showing a Padlock in the address bar, see below for an example from Google Chrome –
You need to make sure that this is verified before proceeding to put in sensitive information such as your Bank Details.
How Does SSL Work?
When you browse to a HTTPS Site, the site will initially present its SSL Certificate which will contain the Public Key to start the Secure Session with your browser. This will start the SSL Handshake process with your browser. This SSL Handshake involves creating shared secrets to establish a unique secure connection between the site and your browser.
HTTPS uses one of two secure protocols to encrypt the website. This will either be the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) Protocol. Both of these protocols are known as asymmetric Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems. This system uses a Public and a Private Key to secure the communications between the browser and the website. Data encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted by the private key and vice-versa.
HTTP vs HTTPS
HTTP Communicates on port 80 and is an insecure connection. The Data is sent in Plain Text so this very insecure if providing bank details etc. All communication sent via Plain Text can be intercepted by a Hacker if they are able to intercept the connection between your browser and the site.
HTTPS Communicates on port 443 and is encrypted using a SSL Certificate. If a Hacker was able to intercept the connection between your browser and the site, they would be unable to decrypt the data due to the encrypted exchange between your browser and the site.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Benefits of Using HTTPS
Google have now started to recognise sites using HTTPS to increase SEO Rating, this will increase your search presence on Google. I would recommend any site to start using HTTPS as you can now receive free SSL Certificates from Let’s Encrypt. You can find more information and obtain a SSL Certificate for free here.
If you are using SiteGround for web hosting you can also request them to configure a SSL Certificate for your site using Let’s Encrypt. You can sign up to SiteGround using my affiliate link here.
Benefits of Using HTTPS
Visitors of your website can verify you are a registered business.
Visitors can verify that you own the Domain.
Customers should only be using HTTPS to purchase products on websites.
SEO – Increase your Search Engine Optimization by using HTTPS. Major search providers such as Google have started to recognise sites using HTTPS.