Today, the internet is a BIG place and it's continuing to grow. It's 2017 now and we have products like "smart" fridges and "smart" cars! There are new robot snowblowers and lawnmowers (connected via internet) that go online to check the forecast automatically clear the driveway!
So what does that mean for us, Internet Users?
With the increase of internet-capable devices and the number of things we do online, there is more dangerous than ever before when it comes to online security. In an older post, we talked about The Internet Of Things and how it was attacked. In that post, we also covered how you can help protect your devices from falling victim to attack.
Well yes and no. While most major websites we visit are secure, many are not.
This is where HTTPS and SSL come in. It sounds technical and scary, I know. But it's simple really.
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is the system for transmitting and receiving information over the internet.
HTTP is used commonly for accessing HTML pages, however, it can also give access to other resources. This was the way that most websites who did not house confidential information (such as credit card information) would set up their websites.
HTTPS, much like HTTP, stands for Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol. This allows information to be transferred securely over the internet. Pretty much just like HTTPS but more secure.
However, HTTPS wouldn't be complete without SSL. We also wrote a short post about SSL and its benefits. But in a nutshell, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser.
HTTPS and SSL certificates make the connection between you, the User, and the website you are using, secure and private. Meaning third parties can't tamper with the website or steal your data.
Google has been cracking down on websites that don't have HTTPS and SSL, starting with how Chrome displays them on the URL bar.
Google also started favoring secure websites on search results and SEO rankings. Right now Google isn't being too harsh on websites with only HTTP, allowing them time to upgrade to HTTPS. Google has said it may strengthen the impact non-HTTPS connections have on their search results.
For you as a business owner, HTTPS offers you peace of mind knowing you have a secure website and the SEO benefits that come with that security. HTTPS also gives your clients and website visitors peace of mind knowing that their connection is secure and private with your website.