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HTTPS: Understanding the relevance & why you need it

Have you decided to move your website to HTTPS? Do you understand what HTTPS stands for? Almost a decade back HTTPS was not favoured, but over the years, it has successfully made its mark to become a necessity today.

What is HTTPS

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a protocol that has been designed with the aim to provide encrypted communication between the web servers. It is most often used in information systems for sensitive data transaction and implementing online payment transactions. The transmission of information between networks becomes complicated in the absence of HTTPS.

Easy to useIn simple terms, HTTPS is just the secure version of HTTP. It has been noticed that the encryption within HTTPS offers a multitude of benefits and addresses relevant issues such as confidentiality, integrity and identity. Moreover, HTTPS also ensures that information maintains confidentiality and integrity as it does not allow data modification without permission.

In this technology-driven world, lack of data encryption is a constant cause of worry as it allows others to view your browsing activity and take control of your keyboard, bolstering activities like  spying and hacking.

Experts are of the opinion that redirecting the website to HTTPS, updating pages with the likes of canonical tags or .htpaccess file edit, shifting the incoming external links along with deployment of protocol independent URLs are a few of the key requirements of the users.

Benefits of HTTPS

Using HTTPS has proven beneficial to business owners and users both. This is crucial for websites where online financial or sensitive data transactions (credit card or debit card transactions) occur frequently. Since Google considers it as a search parameter in its ranking algorithm, it assumes further importance. Furthermore, Google encourages website owners to move to HTTPS for ensuring safety on the web.

  • Easy to use

The primary role of HTTPS is to identify the information being transmitted. It also helps to differentiate between an audio file and a photograph in the web applications. HTTPS ensures that the ease of use is maintained for customers.

  • No need for constant connection

When using HTTPS on web-based applications, 24/7 connection is not required. It also ensures No need for constant connectionthat online browsing occurs at a higher speed which does not become possible when the connections are open throughout.

  • Secure

Since data is encrypted for maintaining safety for the clients, HTTPS-based websites are more secure. This is one of the basic differences between HTTPS and HTTP. While safety is never compromised in HTTPS, HTTP is vulnerable to hacking.

SecureHTTP is not considered as a secure protocol and it is possible to intercept the transmitted data in cleartext such as passwords, session cookies, credit card numbers, etc.

Data analysis states that HTTPS sites enjoy a ranking advantage as compared to the HTTP URLs, benefiting the enterprises’ confidential data.

  • Offer best all round protection

Yes, HTTPS provides only the best. It cares what the end users see visually apart from offering an extra security layer when data moves from one point to another.

  • SEO advantage

Apart from safety and security, HTTPS offers additional SEO benefits like enhanced rankings and referrer data. The value of HTTPS is expected to boost going ahead. It has been noticed that the secure referral information is preserved when the traffic passes to an HTTPS website.

Google has been promoting the implementation of HTTPS, but it is better to understand the varied nuances in depth so that incoming traffic does not suffer. Every website owner should inform Google after they move to HTTPS.

When moving to HTTPS, you should follow the below-mentioned tips for best results –

  • Identify the kind of certificate that best defines your business – single, multi-domain or wildcard certificate – as many payment providers have mandated the use of HTTPS website
  • Use relative URLs for resources
  • Use protocol relative URLs for different domains
  • Never block your HTTPS site from crawling
  • Wherever possible, allow indexing of pages by search engines

How should I implement HTTPS for my website?

All the website owners will be required to buy an encryption certificate (SSL certificate) when they appear for tests. Once issued, the certificate is then electronically encrypted into your website.

Before you proceed to get an SSL certificate, do you understand the functioning of HTTPS?  When a user feeds in data into a form for a page on your website for the purpose of buying or updating information, HTTPS offers protection to the personal details furnished by the users. In HTTPS, the data between the form and the website is encrypted and can’t be modified or even corrupted during data transfer.

What are the costs involved?

When using HTTPS, there are a few hard costs involved. First and foremost, the website owner needs to opt for an SSL certificate, which usually varies depending on factors such as the type of certificate you go for, certificate authority you buy it from and warranty. The website owner planning HTTPS implementation should emphasise on the reputation of the authority from where he is opting for SSL certification instead of focussing on the cost.

There are many businesses that opt for relevant services such as mitigation services and load balancers, hence each of these should be configured in accordance with the certificate opted for and may incur extra costs when using HTTPS.

HTTPS also includes certain soft costs as every website owner should ensure the certificates are up to date and able to handle configuration issues or work on security vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

With the aim to avoid corporate embarrassment and address privacy concerns, website owners have initiated the implementation of HTTPS as essential protective measures. Many payment gateways have implemented rigorous enforcement of HTTPS connections as their users have become victims of money-draining phishing attacks.

Inarguably, HTTPS is the need of the hour but, it offers protection against only certain types of attacks.

At Popkorn Communications, our team ensures the easy management of all services important to offer web properties over HTTPS.   Apart from handling the process of implementation and management, we provide protection to you, your clientele base and improve ranking as well.

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