HTTPS, the lock icon in the address bar, an encrypted website connection – it’s known as many things.
The “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure”. It’s the secure version of the standard “hypertext transfer protocol” your web browser uses when communicating with websites.
HTTPS was originally intended for passwords, payments, and other sensitive data, but the web has evolved and now everything is moving towards secure connections.
When you connect to a website with regular HTTP, your browser looks up the IP address that corresponds to the website, and then connects to it. It just assumes it’s connected to the correct web server, and data is sent over the connection in clear text. An eavesdropper on a Wi-Fi network, your internet service provider, or other nefarious intelligence agencies could see the web pages you’re visiting and record the data you’re sending.
For internet service providers, your browsing history is actually a potential revenue stream. Many ISPs compile anonymous browsing logs to sell to marketing companies.
There is now a common consensus and a desire to move to HTTPS. All the newest standards designed to make the web faster, require an HTTPS connection.
Google is actively making HTTP unattractive by penalizing websites for using it. They plan to flag websites that don’t use HTTPS as unsafe in Chrome, and want to prioritize websites that use HTTPS in their search results.
If your site doesn’t yet have a certificate talk to your IT department, in the first instance, about generating a Certificate Signing Request – which is essentially just filling in a very short form.
Our support team is very experienced in adding SSL certificates and are always on hand to advise.