What is HTTPS and why it's important for website?

Definition: HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the protocol where encrypted HTTP data is transferred over a secure connection. By using secure connections such as Transport Layer Security or Secure Sockets Layer, the privacy and integrity of data are maintained and authentication of websites is also validated.

 If you’ve been on the world wide web for a while you may have noticed an uptick in sites that have a URL that begins with HTTPS versus HTTP.  HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. HTTPS ensures data security over the network - mainly public networks like Wi-Fi. HTTP is not encrypted and is vulnerable to attackers who are eavesdropping and can gain access to website databases and sensitive information. By virtue, HTTPS encryption is done bi-directionally, which means that the data is encrypted at both the client and server sides. HTTP is the protocol through which data is passed between a web browser, like Chrome or Firefox, and a website. The S in HTTPS stands for “Secure” as in this website has a secure connection.

When you visit a webpage in your browser and you visit an HTTPS site you request its SSL certificate. The certificate holds a key that the browser unlocks to create a secure session while visiting that website. The SSL certificate is one-time use only and creates a uniquely secure connection to the website.HTTPS is mainly used by those websites which deal with monetary transactions or transfer user's personal data which could be highly sensitive. Banking websites are common examples.

When you visit a site via HTTP all communication takes place over plain text and this can be read fairly easily by any hacker that breaks the connection between your browser and the website.

HTTPS is valuable because it protects all communication and customer information. HTTPS also works to legitimize any site that uses it because businesses that use HTTPS can be verified. In the case of any e-commerce site, in particular, customers will feel safer shopping there.

Today there isn’t much content that website users or creators want to pass over the web that isn’t fairly secure and generally, they would rather a website have a secure connection versus not. So, website creators are making sure that their sites are HTTPS versus HTTP, even if they run a fairly innocuous informational site about dog breeds, for instance.

HTTPS sites are also more common these days because its become much simpler and cheaper to set it up. It’s possible to get the certificate for free from multiple sources and also many web hosting site packages come with HTTPS already as the default protocol.

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