One letter changes it all, or why switch to HTTPS

Feb
23

The term “HTTPS” has been on everyone’s lips for the last couple of years. The number of websites switching to the HTTPS protocol is growing like crazy. This is especially relevant for those owners who care about their website security and need data protection. However, websites with no sensitive information are also hurrying to take advantage of the new solution. So let’s take a little HTTPS tour and discover more about it.

What is HTTPS and what makes it different from HTTP?

Since the emergence of the World Wide Web, there has always existed the traditional protocol for information sharing called HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). However, it has one major drawback: the ease of intercepting the information. On sites with HTTP, the data is transferred unencrypted. So it is possible to see all of a user's actions, including transaction information when making payments. Intruders can not only see the data but also modify it.

Of course, in the era of online banking, commerce, and other industries with a focus on data protection, the world couldn’t do without a new standardized solution — HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). With it, the data “travels” between the sender and the recipient in an encrypted way, thanks to a cryptographic protocol called Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It’s like using a secret code that third parties do not understand, and shouldn’t!

HTTPS: a pledge for privacy and security

The main benefits of switching from HTTP to HTTPS should be obvious from the above information. Your users’ personal information (browsing history, communication, credit card details and more) is well protected with HTTPS. Hackers are unable to intercept or modify any data, or use your web resource for purposes like installing malware or inserting their own ads. Encryption hides the data from prying eyes, and authentication serves as the proof that your visitors are dealing exactly with your website.

Building trust: how HTTPS websites look to users

Visually, it’s always easy to recognize a website protected by HTTPS. Firstly, there is a padlock icon in the address bar. Secondly, in most browsers, a website’s address starts with https://).

https drudesk

The padlock immediately adds trustworthiness to the web resource even in the eyes of users who are unaware of the HTTPS vs. HTTP issue.

In HTTP-using sites, you will often see just www or sometimes http:// and no padlock icon. Users are usually not notified about the lack of security. But it looks like the warnings are going to be the common practice in the very near future. For example, Chrome plans on labeling HTTP websites as non-secure. Mozilla Firefox is not fond of HTTP either.

HTTPS and SEO: ranking preferences

It is no secret that Google cares about data safety and respects trusted and certified web resources. The search giant​ announced that switching to HTTPS would give sites minor ranking preferences.

HTTPS is far from being the main factor in the overall ranking algorithm, with high-quality content remaining a top requirement. However, it is wise to expect that Google’s preferences for HTTPS-protected pages will grow with time as part of their “secure web” philosophy.

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS is not a 5-minute task. It involves choosing, buying and installing the TLS/SSL certificate, working with your website’s URLs, robots.txt, sitemap.xml and much more. However, it’s way easier with experts.​ Drudesk is ready to take care of the whole process so your website can enjoy the technology of the future. Be safe, be modern and be trusted!

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