HTTPS is a secure version of HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP for short. The ‘S’ stands for Secure.
It is a method for ensuring secure communication between a user’s browser and a web server. It is often recognised as showing a green address bar or padlock in the browser window to indicate a secure connection.
Why Do You Need HTTPS?
Traditionally HTTPS was used by Ecommerce retailers or anyone else accepting online payments to ensure that sensitive, confidential payment details were sent securely to prevent them being stolen by malicious hacking activities.
However, improving online security has become increasingly important in recent years and Google have been at the forefront of this drive. So much so that Google announced that HTTPS is a factor in their ranking algorithm which has accelerated the switch to HTTPS.
Therefore HTTPS is strongly recommended for any business who is focused on reassuring visitors to their website, securing their website, achieving a high ranking and future proofing their online operations.
How Does HTTPS Work?
HTTPS is based on one of two types of Encryption Protocol, either Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). Many websites will use an SSL Certificate to encrypt the communication.
Both TLS and SSL use an Asymmetric Public Key Infrastructure whereby a ‘public’ key and a ‘private’ key are used to encrypt the data.
The private key is stored on the web server whereas the public key is, as it’s name suggests, in the public domain and is used to decrypt encrypted data sent from the web server and vice versa.
When your browser initiates an HTTPS session with the web server, the server sends the public key to your browser and an ‘SSL Handshake’ is then performed between the browser and the server. Once the secure connection is initiated and accepted the browser recognises the secure link and shows the link as secure either with a green browser bar or padlock, depending on the type of SSL certificate being used.
What Are The Benefits Of HTTPS?
- More Trust – HTTPS reassures potential customers that you are a secure and responsible business
- More Transparency – Prospective customers can see that you are a genuine business and you own the domain name
- Improved Conversion Rates – Customers are far more likely to complete a purchase if they see that your site is secured
- More Traffic – HTTPS is a stated Google Ranking Factor so business using HTTPS can get a better ranking than less secure competitors