HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secure encrypted version of HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). It’s the protocol over which data is sent between your browser you are using and the website that you are browsing only. HTTPS sends all the sensitive data in an encrypted form whereas HTTP sends all the data in plain text. SSL uses a mathematical algorithm to hide the true meaning of the data. The algorithm is so complex that it is either impossible or prohibitively difficult to crack.
Only servers that have an SSL certificate can create HTTPS connections. Visitors of the site cannot encrypt the connection.
Banking websites, payment gateway, emails, etc are some great examples where HTTPS protocols are used. If your bank’s website doesn’t support HTTPS, then immediately switch to a safer bank with a secure encrypted website.
Google’s recent announcement says that HTTPS is a ranking signal and that failure to switch to it could mean your ranking will go down.
How Does HTTPS Work?
HTTPS depends on a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate (SSL Certificate), sometimes called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to send the information back and forth. Both the protocols use an ‘asymmetric’ Public Key Infrastructure system.
The owner does not share the private key with anyone and it is the responsibility of the owner of the private key to keep it safely. The private key remains securely ensconced on the web server. Other users need the public key to encrypt messages to the owner.
Why Use SSL Encryption
HTTPS is the basic price of security for the time. It’s the basic trust could you give to your visitors.
- Customer information, like credit/debit cards, passwords, sensitive info is encrypted and cannot be intercepted
- Website visitors are more likely to trust you and more chances to buy products/services from you.
- Proof that you own the domain name.
- More than 80 percent of respondents would abandon a purchase if there was no HTTPS in use.
- Encrypted Websites Protect Our Privacy and are Significantly Faster.
- Users will see a padlock icon in the browser address bar.
Disadvantages of SSL
Overall, the disadvantages of using SSL are few and the advantages far outweigh them.
- Cost, although Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates but for a site with sensitive data, you need an expensive SSL certificate.
- There are many types of attacks that SSL is not designed to handle, and as the internet continues to get more complex new avenues will be created before SSL can be adapted to defend against them.
- Causes more load on the server and sometimes even breaks a website.