If you use the internet regularly or have your own website, you have probably come across the term HTTPS. What is it, why is it important, and should you be considering using it for your site?
What is HTTPS?
In the past websites have communicated with your PC or phone using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). This is the basic technology of the internet and sends information to the server in plain text; therefore, if it gets intercepted, it is easily read. HTTPS is an extended version of this (Hypertext Transfer Protocol with Secure Sockets Layer). HTTPS communicates using port 443 rather than the standard port 80 and, crucially, it encrypts the information in transit. Even if the information is intercepted, it is still safe.
To host an HTTPS page, you need a unique IP address and an SSL certificate that verifies to a user’s browser that the site is secure. If you are unsure, contact your web hosting company to check. It is HTTPS that makes the padlock symbol on your browser toolbar turn green to signal to consumers that their information is protected.
Why it matters
If you are looking for a someone to create a new web design in London, take the opportunity to discuss using HTTPS. Data breaches are big news and it is not just financial information such as credit card and bank details that is at risk. Even names and addresses are valuable to hackers seeking targets for identity theft.
Consumers are increasingly aware of their vulnerability online and London web design by Vizion Online and other companies needs to address this. Historically HTTPS has only been used to secure payment details; however, in today’s riskier web environment, any page that collects data needs to be secured by HTTPS − not just payment details but all information you are asking the site users to provide.
You might think at this point that it would be a good idea to secure the whole of your website; however, using HTTPS slows down the connection a little because it requires more information to be transmitted. This may also affect the amount of bandwidth you use, which is important if your host charges you for the amount you use. For these reasons it is better to keep HTTPS just for the pages of your site that need it.