HTTPS, a cryptographic protocol encrypts the connection between a browser and web server, enabling secure data transfer on the internet. The HTTPS protocol allows safe use of the internet, thanks to a transport layer security (TLS) certificate or, its predecessor, secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. Before we discuss the advantages of HTTPS in detail, have a look at the features that differ HTTPS from HTTP in terms of security.
Generally speaking, HTTPS is an enhanced version of HTTP. Yet, the choice between the two protocols is obvious as HTTPS offers high-level security. This is something you cannot neglect. HTTPS helps to protect the user from multiple cyber threats and make their overall experience with the website safer.
Comparing HTTP and HTTPS, one can notice significant technical differences. In HTTP connections, data remains unencrypted and can be read, hacked, and stolen. In contrast, HTTPS encrypts all communication so that nobody else can interpret this data, except for a person in possession of a decryption key.
The use of an SSL or TLS certificate in HTTPS allows making a user's session more secure. URLs of websites that use HTTPS begin with https:// instead of http://. Besides, major search engines prioritize websites with secure communication. Websites with HTTPS are likely to rank higher than those using HTTP. Additionally, most browsers label HTTP websites as "not secure" and notify users about it. It causes such sites to lose potential users.
Nowadays, all websites, regardless of their purpose, are encouraged to switch to HTTPS. With it, a website gets a number of security advantages and becomes more trustworthy for users.
Website owners and users need secure communication. HTTPS protects data that is transferred between them. It encrypts both information that is sent from the server as well as information that goes to it.
HTTPS protects users and website owners from being spied on by preventing a third party from accessing and changing data. Encryption keeps usernames, passwords, payment details, and contacts safe. HTTPS is also crucial for those who use public networks that cannot be called secure.
Authentication that comes with HTTPS helps both companies and their clients. Clients can be sure about the legitimacy of the website as it has been verified by a third party. In their turn, website owners do not need to make an extra effort to prove their website is official.
HTTPS verifies the digital identity of a website, showing users who they are dealing with. It helps websites to build reputation and trust with clients. If a website owner wants to sell services or products online, he or she should take care of security measures in the first place. It will show clients that their privacy and safety are a priority.
With HTTPS, websites avoid having "not secure" notifications. It makes visitors confident in the safety of the connection, and they become more likely to use the website and the services it offers. In contrast, HTTP websites can never be trusted with sensitive information even if they seem legit.
HTTPS makes online payments and eCommerce safe for users by preventing their bank account and credit card information from getting stolen. Ordering something online, you should always check whether a website provides secure communication. It might even help you choose a reliable service among numerous options.
An SSL/TLS certificate includes the information on a website owner that ensures secure communication. There are different validation options. For example, extended validation provides the most meticulous verification. It is one of the strictest options developed for websites that work with visitors' personal data. Numerous factors and sources are considered during authentication to verify that a website is legitimate. Other types are less rigorous. For instance, domain validation requires no more but to prove the ownership of the domain.
When you are using a website, your data might move across several servers until it reaches its target. Unfortunately, this process creates numerous opportunities for cybercriminals to get access to this information and use it for malicious purposes. Unlike HTTP that transfers data as plain text, HTTPS, with its encryption, safeguards it during the process. Client-server communication remains hidden and hard to compromise.
Authentication of websites is a major advantage of HTTPS. An average user cannot possibly know who the owner of a website is and whether the website is legitimate. With an SSL or TLS certificate, which is an obligatory component of HTTPS, a user gets verification that he or she uses a real and trustworthy website. Such authentication allows preventing cyber crimes like phishing and pharming. In some cases, users can distinguish between real and fake websites considering only the presence of HTTPS.
If you are looking for ways to make your internet use even more secure, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) in addition to websites with HTTPS. Both technologies have similarities as they help a user to protect his or her privacy online. Yet, their methods differ. This is the reason why using both can keep you safe from a larger number of cyber threats. Read here VPN vs HTTPS: Why You Should Use Both
When you use a VPN, nobody can snoop on you. Your traffic will be encrypted so that even your internet service provider (ISP) will not see it. HTTPS also hides what you do on websites, but your ISP or even a third party can still identify you and track which websites you visit. With a VPN activated, this information will be undetectable. It gives you an encrypted channel between your device and the server. Besides, a VPN will protect all online operations of your device when HTTPS secures only the website-browser communication.
Elizabeth Shirley is an experienced web developer who enjoys writing in her free time. She has extensive knowledge on anything website creation related. And when she wants to take her mind off the programming world, she writes for EssayService, a professional essay writing service, as well as other online platforms.