HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an Internet protocol that protects the confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the website.
HTTPS was originally intended for passwords, payments and other sensitive data but now more websites are securing themselves by moving towards it.
You know you’re connected to a website with HTTPS if the website starts with “https://” and it shows a light green lock icon to the left of the web address.
In the United States, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is allowed to snoop on your web browsing history and sell that information to advertisers. A website that moves to HTTPS will prevent the ISP from seeing as much data. They would only be able to see that you’re connecting to a specific website, as opposed to which individual pages you’re looking at. When connecting to a website with standard HTTP, your browser looks into the IP address that corresponds to the website, makes a connection to that IP address and assumes it’s connected to the correct server. Data is sent over the connection in clear text and that provides an opportunity for your ISP or a government agency.
One of the big problems with HTTP is that there is no way of verifying if you’re connected to the right website. Many cyber attacks take advantage of this and redirect you to a website posing as your bank, for example, and putting you in a situation where you’re likelier to give away your information. If you’re on an unfamiliar network make sure the web address is correct and that it has HTTPS and the lock icon, otherwise you may be connected to an imposter site.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured through a Transport Layer Security Protocol (TLSP), which provides three layers of protection to a site: encryption, data integrity, and authentication. Encryption modifies data that’s transferred between the browser and your computer to protect it from eavesdroppers. This means no one can track your activity through the web or steal information. Data integrity means the data exchanged cannot be modified or corrupted without being detected. Authentication proves the users of your site are communicating with the correct website and not being redirected to a scam site.
Many browsers are making HTTPS with new, more advanced features that make web pages load faster. Other browsers like Google are actually penalizing websites for using standard HTTP. Google often flags websites that don’t use HTTPS as unsafe in Chrome. Google also prioritizes websites that use HTTPS in Google search results, SEO. This can prove challenging if you’re looking to gain more traffic to your site or promote a business through your site.
Marketing and IT teams need to work together in implementing HTTPS in their website to remain competitive. If you move your site from HTTP to HTTPS, Google treats this as a site move with URL changes. This might temporarily affect your traffic numbers but the rewards outweigh the costs. In the end, the search algorithms will pick this up and your site should rank higher for selected keywords.
Hackers are getting smarter nowadays, and pose as real secure websites to take information from your clients and customers. HTTPS itself won’t guarantee a site is the real deal. There are phishers who’ve picked up on this trend and know people look for HTTPS as indicators of legitimacy. They might go out of their way to disguise their websites to resemble a secure HTTPS site. Scammers and hackers can also get certificates for their scam sites because in theory they are only prevented from impersonating sites they don’t own.
We’re Here to Help!
Through our Managed IT and Business Continuity Plans, we can help guide you in securing your website so your web visitors can access your site safely. We ensure every customer touch point is safe from hackers and other imposters. Reputation and first impressions are everything in today’s digital age. Why not impress potential clients with a safe and secure website? If your website is not secure, why should they trust your business?
Nerd Support can assist in answering all web related questions and ensure your website is secured and operational. We offer award winning managed it services to financial, logistics, and manufacturing firms and they have seen growth and improved processes after partnering with Nerds Support. Even if no hiccups were to happen, we can have a business continuity plan in place so you can rest easy if a hiccup happened!