If you’re looking to build an e-commerce website and you want to make sure that the users submit their confidential information securely, you might want to consider HTTPS as your communications protocol. Let’s take a look at the technology and point out its pros and cons.
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What Is HTTPS?
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a version of HTTP with more focus on security. The main differences between those two are that with HTTP all communication between the computer and the server is in plain text, while with HTTPS all the info is encrypted.
Initially, HTTPS was introduced to strengthen the security of online transactions for corporate systems, but in 2018 it hs become the primary security protocol for all users, outnumbering the usage of HTTP.
HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security certificate for data encryption. To have HTTPS on your website, you have to install the certificate, which you can get from SSL/TLS providers.
What Are the Pros of HTTPS?
The main feature of the protocol is the encryption that allows the data flow between the computers and servers with no interruptions. Only the server and your browser know how to decrypt the incoming data, thus lowering the chances of any sensitive information getting stolen.
HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) that encrypts such information as logins credentials, passwords, physical addresses, and credit card information.
With most of the modern websites using HTTPS, web browsers are taking measures to let the users know if the page they’re on is secured or not. If the users land on the website that does not use HTTPS, the browser will highlight the page as not secure in the address bar. Otherwise, HTTPS websites are highlighted as safe to use.
That clear indication lets the users decide if they should or shouldn’t leave their emails or credit card info on a particular website. So, is the users see the website that’s safe, they are more likely to proceed with a purchase or sign up for a newsletter. The properly built website with security in mind will be perceived as legitimate.
Back in August 2014, Google announced that switching to HTTPS from HTTP will result in the search ranking benefit for websites. Even though the boost is minor, that goes to show how important is data security on the internet.
Most of the certificates you get to set up HTTPS come with a warranty. If the Certificate Authority (the provider) mis-issues the certificate and some of your users’ data gets stolen or damaged, CA is to pay the reimbursement to those users. This removes the liability from the website owner to the certificate provider.
If you want to have the online store, you obviously need to build the feature to accept, process, store, and transmit the credit or debit card information online. To ensure the security of online transactions, The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has established a set of requirements for those dealing with online payments. HTTPS is one of those requirements.
What Are the Cons of HTTPS?
For first time users, the installation of the certificate can be overwhelming, as it is lengthy and complicated. The good news is that there are plenty of manuals on the web, as well as providers offering not on the certificates, but the installation services as well.
With an extra step of verification added to the loading process, your website might take an extra moment to load. But that is becoming the thing of the past: with newer versions of the certificate, TLS reduces the time to establish a connection in half.
HTTPS ensures a safe browsing experience for users and provides secure way to conduct business on the internet. On top of that, the protocol also lets the website owner benefit from better search ratings and helps building customer trust.
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