Does your website address start with http or https? Perhaps, you are wondering what the difference is and why you should care? Well, by this time you’ve likely seen warnings from your web browser as you navigate to websites who’s address is missing the ‘s‘ in https. The warnings indicate that they might be insecure and a potential risk to visit. Or, you may even have been blocked by your web browser from entering some websites.
WHAT IS HTTPS AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
When data is sent between a website and the user viewing it, that data can be intercepted if it is not encrypted. This makes it easy for those with ill intent to steal your information if you visit the site and to steal your visitors information if you own the site!
When the website address starts with http only and not with https it is not encrypted. So, you want it to start with https. But, this alone does not make the connection secure. There must also be an SSL certificate associated with it.
Again, the ‘s’ in https at the start of a web address indicates that the site is secured with an SSL certificate utilizing a pair of ‘keys’ (bits of code), one on a public server and the other on the website server, which have been assigned with the SSL certificate. These public and private key pairs allow the data to be encrypted between the website being visited and the user’s browser and facilitate the encryption and decryption of the data.
Google’s website for developers highlights the need for SSL security and the Electronic Freedom Foundation has some excellent background and resources. These include some browser plugins to help you browse the internet more safely and some services to help you or your web developer protect your website and the privacy and security of the visitors to it. Of course, we’d be happy to secure your website for you! 😀 SEE our annual SSL Certificate Service!