HTTP translates to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol while HTTPS translates to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure – in other words – HTTPS is simply a secured HTTP. Confidentiality is one of the key reasons as to why we send letters to each other in sealed envelopes; unless of course we are sending an open letter to someone in which case we do not mind if everyone else might read it before it gets to our intended recipient. HTTPS is a lot like a sealed envelope, and HTTP is a lot like an open letter when it comes to sending information over the internet.
With hackers and spammers lurking all over the internet, it is crucial for websites to secure the information they collect from their visitors and subscribers with HTTPS. If you visit a website that has not yet switched from HTTP to HTTPS, internet browsers such as Firefox and Chrome are going to warn you whenever you are about to enter your information into non-secure websites. Browsers are yet to start blocking visitors from entering their sensitive information into non-secure websites, but they are making sure that they make visitors aware that interacting with non-secure websites is at the visitors’ own risk. As a result, non-secure websites are turning away potential subscribers and losing credibility by not switching from the non-secure HTTP to the secure HTTPS.
So how does a website switch from HTTP to HTTPS? To switch from HTTP to HTTPS, a website should acquire a Secure Socket Layer aka SSL certificate. An SSL installation secures the information entered by a visitor to a website by encrypting it when sending it from the browser to the server where the website is hosted. With a basic SSL certificate in place, websites pass the browser credibility test and hence the visitors will not be warned when entering their information into a website running on HTTPS. It is important to note that running a website on HTTPS only secures information when it is being transferred between a browser and the server – if your developer did not secure your website from attacks that are targeted on input fields such as the login or signup areas – your visitors are not secure even though the browsers are only set to warn against unsecured HTTP.
In the next article, I will broach this subject further by discussing the types of SSL Certificates available and how to determine the suitable SSL Certificate for your website. Do you have observations of your own to add to this subject? Please share them below in the comments to help empower each other. Was this article helpful? Please sign up to stay updated with our empowering conversations.