Why HTTPS? Is HTTPS Safe?
While HTTP is the main protocol that’s used for many web connections, HTTPS is the version of HTTP that allows for a secure connection, which has proven to be highly important to modern site visitors and ecommerce transactions as user data is being entered online. While people have become increasingly dependent on the internet to go about their daily lives, the risks associated with user privacy and security have increased. If you want customers to remain on your website, they need to be confident that their data is secure, which is particularly important if you sell items or services directly from your site.
Keep in mind that often website intruders or malicious hackers will focus on exploiting every resource that’s left unprotected, which could put user data at risk if you haven’t implemented an HTTPS connection. When an unprotected communication occurs between a potential customer and your website, the user could be tricked into providing sensitive information about themselves or even downloading harmful malware, which would invariably worsen your reputation.
If a third party sends advertisements into your website without your knowledge, these ads could come with various security vulnerabilities that would affect site visitors if they happen to click on the ad. The resources that can be exploited on your website via an unprotected connection include cookies, HTML, scripts, and images. The actual intrusion can take place around any point within your network, which includes a WiFi hotspot or the device that the site user is accessing your website on. You can avoid these issues altogether by protecting your website connection with HTTPS.
Keep in mind that the URL of your website will identify whether or not you’ve implemented HTTPS into your website domain. The HTTPS letters will appear at the beginning of the URL and your website will show a padlock icon (if left unsecured – many modern browsers will say “Not Secure” in the address bar next to your URL). If you see HTTP as opposed to HTTPS, this means that you have yet to properly secured your website with HTTPS.
When a customer visits your website, they want their experience on the website to be free of worry and frustration. While it’s possible to ease frustration by integrating fast load times and simple navigation, the risk that a user might consider when entering a website for the first time can only be mitigated if the website proves to be secure. When customers know that you can provide them with security and privacy, they will continue to build trust with your brand, which will in turn bolster your reputation.
HTTPS can improve your business online in many ways. If you implement a storefront on your website or have a login page, these connections and transactions won’t be secure without HTTPS – in fact, many ecommerce providers require HTTPS connections.
Why HTTPS vs. HTTP?
In order to fully understand just how important HTTPS is to your website, it’s best to compare HTTPS to HTTP. The HTTP protocol is a type of system that’s used to transmit and receive information through the internet — this is the default connection protocol with many modern domain service providers. An HTTP connection does not remember anything about the web session that occurred before the current connection. For new websites that don’t obtain user information, HTTP may be enough to get you up and running but we always highly recommend obtaining an SSL certificate through your domain provider and securing your website connection through HTTPS.
HTTPS is essentially the secure version of HTTP. It was developed primarily to allow for secure transactions, which have become essential for any kind of website that maintains user information. While a connection from a web browser to a server or port is established in the same way as HTTP, the data is moved with SSL, which means that the link is fully encrypted and the users privacy is secure.
The advantages of using HTTPS are numerous. For one, Google vastly prefers websites that are considered to be trusted and certified, which means that by using HTTPS, your website will have a better chance to rank in the search engine results pages. Along with increasing your rankings with search engines like Google, the additional SEO benefits of HTTPS include preserving referral information to your site and aiding SEO efforts by providing more security. When you’re running a website, there’s practically no reason why you shouldn’t be using HTTPS.
For the standard definitions of HTTP and HTTPS, the HTTP term refers to a Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which determines how information is formatted and transferred via a connection. When you type a URL into your browser, HTTP will tell the server to transmit the web page that has been requested. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which allows for secure communication via a computer network. By utilizing an SSL certificate attached to your domain, the connection that’s made from a web browser to a server will be secured. When the HTTP protocol fetches the requested website or URL, the transmitting of the data will be secured with SSL, which means that it’s entirely encrypted and can’t be breached by outside interference.
What Is HTTPS Filtering?`
HTTPS filtering is an important component of this protocol and is something that you should understand for your website and has become a critical component of HTTPS in recent years. When you implement HTTPS content filtering, the traffic to and from your website that’s encrypted with SSL will be decrypted for you. While this might seem to be counterproductive, the tool will analyze the content of the decrypted data, apply any filtering controls, and then encrypt the data before it’s finally sent to its intended destination.
In today’s world, individuals who attempt to infiltrate a website will sometimes do so via encrypted traffic of their own, which could be used to hide malware or obtain sensitive information. Since it’s possible for these individuals to use HTTPS to get into your website, you need to be able to decrypt the data momentarily to make sure that your site doesn’t become vulnerable, which is why HTTPS content filtering is as important as the base HTTPS protocol.
How to Add HTTPS to Your WordPress Site
If you’re creating a WordPress site or are already using an HTTP site with WordPress, it’s important that you transition to HTTPS if you want to bolster the security and privacy of your website. First, you’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate for your website through your domain provider. Once the certificate is purchased and set up through your service provider, you’ll need to activate the HTTPS connection.
Activating HTTPS in WordPress is actually surprisingly easy and can be done with the Really Simple SSL plugin. To begin this process, go to your WordPress dashboard and select the “Plugins” option. From this page, click “Add New”, which is located at the top of the screen. Once you’ve found the correct plugin, all that’s left to do is select “Install Now”.
Once the installation process has been completed, you can simply activate the plugin and your WordPress website will be protected with HTTPS and all non-HTTP traffic will be automatically forwarded to the HTTPS version of that page. The best aspect of using this plugin for your WordPress site is that it’s completely free and lasts forever, which means that you don’t need to renew the plugin in order to continue using it. Since the plugin is free to use, there’s no reason not to implement HTTPS onto your WordPress website. You’ll be able to rank higher on Google and will provide site users with the privacy and security that they deserve.
HTTPS is one of the most critical factors for the success of your website. If you want to provide your users with a place they can visit or shop without fear of having their data stolen or information compromised, it’s essential that you use HTTPS.
If ever a substantial hack occurs with your website, the significant amount of data that you would likely lose would assuredly worsen your reputation among customers and will often result in time and money spent on recovery.