What is HTTPS?
HTTPS is the latest version of HTTP, building on its functionality to add security to its capabilities. Basically they are the same. However, HTTPS offers users peace of mind in protecting the transfer of data.
The technology behind HTTPS works by simply encrypting the user’s data as it flows between their web browser and the server of the website. By scrambling this data, anyone trying to intercept is unable to read it, thus protecting from hackers and bots. The pages will use either TLS (Transport Security Layer) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). TLS is the newer version of the standard SSL and are basically one and the same. When a secure connection is requested via HTTPS, the SSL / TLS uses a public key to encrypt the data, and a private key to decrypt the information upon receipt. This is referred to as the SSL handshake, when both parties validate authorization through a secured connection via a secret key.
SSL encryption uses 128 or 256 bit encryption, a bit being the tiniest part of computational information represented by either a one or a zero. Using 128 bit encryption does not require as much operational power and is therefore faster than 256. Some argue that the newer 256 bit encryption is stronger, however 128 bit is still extremely strong and considered unbreakable by most security experts. In a brute-force attack, it could take literally thousands of years to break through a 128 bit encryption.
Because HTTPS creates a secure connection, it has quickly become the new standard on the world wide web. Global audiences, customers and business owners understand that without that ’s’ in the URL address, their browsing activity is at risk. The way large swaths of the world’s population use the internet for banking, business, personal communication and more require data security. HTTPS is a simple signifier for everyone of all skill levels to know that the e-commerce and business sites they visit are safe.
When setting up a small business website, be it for offering consulting and design services or selling the newest, latest widgets, creating an HTTPS URL is a necessary step. This can easily be done by purchasing an SSL certificate. Once the URL is hosted with a dedicated IP address, the certificate can be purchased and installed through the host. All the owner needs to do is then update their website to use HTTPS.