The World Wide Web is a great place to be, but it’s not always safe due to hackers and attackers. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) powers most websites today, but that’s no longer good enough. The requirement is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), but as it stands, webmasters are not moving quick enough to adopt the more secure protocol.
The design of HTTPS was all about securing websites that deal with money. For example, if your back has its own website, and from there it’s possible to check your balance and do transactions, it needs to run on a secure protocol.
Now, due to the problems the web is facing, every website will need to move over from the regular HTTP to HTTPS in the near future. The reason it’s taking so long is due to the cost of having HTTPS attached to each website.
On top of the cost of hosting, SEO impact and other key elements to having a web page up and running, HTTPS is just another added price tag.
Why HTTP is not good enough
Data sent over HTTP is not secure, which means anyone eavesdropping over Wi-Fi, or even the NSA based in the United States can take a look at the information. Not to mention, data sent through the protocol is in text mode, so it’s easy to read.
There’s no way to tell if the user is connected to the correct website if HTTPS is not active. This means it’s easier for an attacker to create a fake website designed to trick users. Because of this, one must never send credit card information and passwords over an HTTP connection.
What makes HTTPS better
HTTPS is not without its problems, but from our point of view, it’s much better than HTTP and should be taken seriously. Any connection sent over the secured protocol is kept away from prying eyes. Even the NSA has a difficult time breaking through the HTTPS barrier, at least, for now.
Microsoft has also adopted the secure protocol for Bing. Anyone searching through the popular search engine can do so with peace of mind.
Why we need to move from HTTP to HTTPS
Did you know Internet Service Providers in the United States have the law on their side to collect the browsing history of customers? After the collection, the history is then sold off to advertisers.
With the HTTPS active, ISPs will have to come up with other ways to gain access to your information. Hopefully, they’ll think about asking first.
To make matters worse, ISPs can tamper with the web pages you visit on a regular basis. Just imagine visiting The Windows Club, and only to come across a message from your service provider. Yes, they can inject messages on websites, and for some reason, governments won’t do anything about it.
From a website owner’s perspective, it may make good sense to move to HTTPS for one more reason. Google has included it as a search ranking factor, and so it would make good SEO sense. Google has also laid down the steps you need to take to migrate to an HTTPS site.
Signs of a secured website
That’s easy! Just look to the address bar and keep an eye out for https:// and that’s it really. Bear in mind, it needs to have the ‘s’.
NOTE: While a website which is just used for browsing may or may not want to use HTTPS, it is imperative that any website that users have to enter their credentials to log in and use the website, eg an e-commerce site – must use the HTTPS protocol.