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SSL Certificate: Are All Websites Required To Use It?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

The increasing number of cyber threat cases signals website owners to zero in on security to ensure that cyber attacks are reduced if not completely removed. Hacking is a monumental concern because hackers are good at devising plans to work their way into our websites and steal our information. It is already too late to realize that we have fallen prey to their schemes. The use of SSL certificate is considered by experts as one way to combat cyber threats and attacks. It gets our websites secure and filters suspicious activities. How does SSL certificate become beneficial to website owners?

HTTPs: In a nutshell

For us to know the benefits of SSL certificate, it is important to understand how HTTPs work. HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is a type of protocol used by web servers and browsers as a way of transmitting data or communicating to one another. An HTTP command is sent when a website address is entered into the address bar. HTTP gets the website we wish to access.

SSL, on the other hand, stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a method of encrypting data while travelling through the Internet. It ensures that the private information that users or customers provide will not be compromised. Private information such as credit card details or passwords entered on e-commerce websites are going through different servers and networks before it goes to the right destination.

During this process, hackers attempt to intercept the user’s private information. However, if the network is encrypted, the data being transmitted will be difficult to read, hence, it prevents hackers from stealing sensitive or confidential information. Using SSL certificate on your website gives users or customers the confidence that your website can be trusted and their personal information is protected.

HTTPS websites: The New Norm

The recent policies in web browsing have allowed users to check if their connection to the website is secure especially when attempting to access any non-HTTPS websites on the browser. Use Chrome or Firefox and it will let you experience these changes to web browsing. This is beneficial to customers because it prevents hackers from manipulating sensitive information. E-commerce websites are making sure that visitors feel comfortable leaving their shipping or billing details. We will even notice that if you happen to stumble upon an insecure website, the browser will give us a warning indicating that the connection is not private. The message occurs if an HTTPS website does not have SSL certificate.

SSL is deemed essential to websites to protect user authentication, financial records, private data and other confidential information. If you have an e-commerce website, websites with login forms, membership sites, HTTP2-powered sites or blog sites, the use of SSL certificate is highly recommended.

How to identify if a website is SSL-secured?

Arm yourself with knowledge when accessing sites. We can tell a website is SSL-secured if the URL on the address bar starts with HTTPS. When it is highlighted in GREEN it signifies that the connection is secure. There is also a green lock icon found on the top corner of the browser’s address bar. It is also interesting to note that there are websites that have the HTTPS in the address but do not have a green lock in the address bar. It could mean that the SSL certificate is not yet provided. It is also important to check if a website has a security seal as this verifies the identity of the website once the seal is clicked.

HTTPS vs HTTP: What’s The Difference?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

When browsing a website, have you ever noticed the web address’ format? The web address may either begin with http or https.

What’s the difference?

First, we need to find out what HTTP and HTTPS stand for. HTTP refers to the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol while HTTPS stands for Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. You may have already noticed that only a single word separates the latter from the former. We will start with discussing the basics of HTTP and HTTPS.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol:

HTTP refers to an application layer protocol. You can simply say that it only focuses on how the information is presented. It does not really care how data gets from Point A to Point B. In other words, it does not remember anything about the previous Web session. By default, HTTP operates on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Port 80. This means that for you to use HTTP, your computer should send and receive data specifically through this port. Non-negotiable.

Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol:

Let’s just say that HTTPS is the more practical and secure way of using HTTP. It operates on TCP Port 443 and it works in conjunction with another protocol often referred to as Secure Sockets Layer(SSL). SSL ensures that data are transported safely. Now this gives you peace of mind in the event you make an online purchase and you are required to enter your credit card information. SSL does not have a set of prying eyes. In fact, it does not really care what the data looks like.

How does HTTP differ from HTTPS?

Well, aside from the fact that they operate on separate TCP ports, the process is another noticeable distinction.

As you interact with data, HTTP simply presents the data to you through your web browser. This enables your browser to get an idea what to do once you click. HTTP has very limited role to play. Once the data travels, HTTP’s job stops there.

Although HTTPS works the same, it has the ability to differentiate one sender and receiver from another. SSL plays an important role in taking the data both going or coming. SSL encrypts the data using mathematical algorithm, which hides the data’s true meaning. The encryption only takes place when the website owner makes a purchase of a time-sensitive certificate.

Now that you have an idea about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, the next article will answer a question on whether or not you need HTTPS for your e-commerce website.