HTTPS Keeping you safe on the Internet since 2000

The Internet would not exist as we know it if the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) did not exist. It is in many ways the very beginnings of the net. It was designed by Tim Berners-Lee and his team at CERN in 1989 and it is the protocol that the internet runs on. One thing that could not be envisioned in 1989 was what the Internet would become and one thing lacking in HTTP is security encryption. That is where HTTPS comes in.

HTTPS provides authentication of both the website and the server that a user is communicating with. It is designed to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks or active eavesdropping. It provides encryption between the client and the server which provides as much of a guarantee as possible that there is no other party involved in a communication.

When it was released in the early 2000s the benefits were obvious and it was quickly implemented. Its structure is nearly identical to HTTP making its implementation even easier. Certificates are used to verify that a website is what it says it is and is trusted and those certificates are acquired from a certificate authority so one cannot be made up by a malicious site. It is easily implemented with any web browser and is used with around 45% of websites on the web. HTTPS uses port 443 rather than port 80 which HTTP uses which helps make it more secure.

So, how can you know if your are on a HTTPS site? This is important because if you are buying something online or are using public wi-fi the information that you sent is potentially visible to others and it may be the only thing standing between your privacy and having your information stolen. Before you click on anything on an ecommerce site look at the address bar. There is a small lock that appears next to the web address. If it is green the site you are on is using HTTPS. If it has a red line through it the site that you are on is not, so you had better not send any information on that site. Another way to check is if the browser displays the full URL it will start with https://.

Now that you know that, you can shop with confidence online knowing that you are secure. If you are not using HTTPS you should be and if you are selling anything online and you aren’t you should start using it yesterday. Nicely Done Sites can help, so if you aren’t sure whether you are using HTTPS or if you would like to implement it on your webpage we can help!

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