Mar 26, 2018

What is HTTPS And Why is it Important to Have?

The term HTTPS stands for Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure, it’s a secure channel through which data is transferred between your computer browser tool and the site which you are visiting. The 'S’ at the end stands for Secure, meaning all connections between your search tool and the webpage are encrypted.

Most popular browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla and Internet explorer display a padlock image next to the address bar, showing that a safe HTTPS link has been made.

How does HTTPS work?

Typically, HTTPS websites use either Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt online exchanges. Both of these protocols make use of an 'asymmetric’ PKI or Public Key Infrastructure network. The system uses dual keys, a public and private one, to encrypt all communications over the internet. Consequently, anything that’s secured with a private-key is only accessible via a public key and vice versa.

The private key of a HTTPS site should always be protected and be known by the owner alone. In most websites, it remains securely kept within the web server. Contrarily, the public-key is meant to be used by anyone who wants to decrypt data that was encoded using the private key.

SSL Certificate Requirement

When you make a HTTPS request on a website, the page will first relay its SSL Certificate to your search tool. This software carries the public-key required to start the safe browsing session.

From this initial communication, your web browser and the site will then commence with the 'SSL handshake’, which involves the creation of mutual secret codes used to establish a safe link between your search tool and the website. When a trustworthy SSL Digital-Cert is applied for a HTTPS connection, visitors will view a padlock image in the browser’s address bar and once an Extended Validity Certificate is installed the address bar shall turn green.

How to get a SSL Certificate cheaply?

There are various ways you can get affordable SSL certificates. First, you can refer online to reputable websites that list cheap SSL certificates which you can try. Such platforms allow you to compare the features of different cost-effective SSL certificates so as to get the best value for your money.

Additionally, oftentimes it’s much cheaper to buy a new certificate rather than renewing an old one, this is because special offer coupons don’t usually apply to SSL renewals. While most cheap certificates will work well and are approved across popular web browsers, you should still refer with your SSL/hosting provider just to make sure.

Reasons why you should have HTTPS

I) Improved search engine rankings. Google has already confirmed that they favor HTTPS websites over others. In fact, more than 30pct of the sites listed on their top page are 'Secure’ or encrypted.

II) Greater online security. It protects web users’ information and your own personal data from cyber criminals.

III) It makes your website mobile-friendly. Recently, Google developed the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) app to ensure web content loads quicker on mobile phones. However, the app requires users to have https before their website can be optimized for mobile use.

IV) Improved conversion rates. Statistics show that most internet users will only share personal information over the internet if the site is HTTPS. If it’s not secured they may express concern sharing their name, phone number or email address.

How Google Chrome views HTTPS

As of July 2018, Chrome intends to label all HTTP sites as 'non-secure’. While the browser currently displays a neutral virtual icon, once the version 68 is launched it will caution visitors with a new indicator in the web-address bar.

Over the recent years, Google has been urging users to keep off unencrypted sites but this so far has been their most impactful move. The Chrome team mentioned that this decision was based on increased https adoption. Approximately 81 of the 100 sites on the internet default to HTTPS, plus most of the traffic on Chrome is already encrypted.

HTTPS impact on SEO

HTTPS can boost your search engine rankings, particularly in cases where the quality signals emanating from two different web results are equal in most aspects. Generally, if your site is equal to your competitor’s in terms of content freshness, speed and title tags among other factors, Google will place it on top of the competitor’s page if it has https and the other one does not.

In conclusion, https is a secure web communication protocol that can safeguard your private information from hackers. It can also help improve your rankings on search engines such as Google.

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