As more business than ever is being conducted online, the need to protect your website and its users is more vital than ever to ensuring your success. Switching your website to HTTPS is just one of the ways you can enhance your site's security. While HTTPS used to be considered best practice, is quickly becoming an essential to online businesses.
HTTP means Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is used to determine how data is sent between a website and the user. HTTPS is a protocol which is secured.
When your website is running off regular HTTP the data being sent between the site and the user is sent in plain text. If a hacker were to intercept the data they would be able to read it. This means they could learn sensitive information such as the users passwords or credit card details.
If your site uses HTTPS however, all data sent back and forth will be encrypted meaning anyone intercepting it will not be able to read it. This protects your users from cyber crime. The verification provided by HTTPS certificates also makes it difficult for frauds to impersonate your business and use your identity to scam others through phishing.
When your website has the Green Padlock indicating HTTPS, or the Green Address Bar provided by an Extended Validation HTTPS certificate, the confidence of your users to complete transactions on your website will be boosted.
The enhanced trust from your users will lead to a higher conversion rate and better business all around.
Browsers will alert users when a website in not secured using HTTPS. Google Chrome’s latest updates now flag every website without HTTPS as “Not Secured” in the address bar. Potential users are likely to turn away from your website once they have been alerted that your website cannot be trusted with their data.
Other browsers will warn users then a website without HTTPS requires them to enter a password or credit card details. These browsers will be expected to follow Google’s example in the future and flag all unsecured pages. As browsers push for more encryption, HTTP will become the exception rather than the norm.
SEO Benefits of HTTPS
Using HTTPS also enhances your SEO. It has been confirmed by Google that sites using proper HTTPS encryption are given priority in their search engine. The presence of HTTPS can be used as a tiebreaker between two sites that would otherwise be equal in search ranking. So taking the time to ensure your site is secure can translate into more visitors through organic searches.
HTTPS will be required for using certain new technologies online such as HTTP/2. This is a new version of the protocol which can reduce the load time of websites, but major browsers will only allow it to be used with HTTPS.
The easiest way to switch over to HTTPS is to purchase an SSL/TLS certificate. Your website will switch over to HTTPS as soon as the certificate is installed. Not making the switch risks not only your users, but also the reputation of your business.