HTTPS and SSL Encryption
What is HTTPS? HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a network protocol designed to protect your website from possible cyber attacks and secure all sensitive data transfers, such as credit card transactions, logins and other personal information passed from a visitor’s browser to your website.
3 key benefits of https:
All transferred data is safely encrypted
and therefore makes no real sense to the web hacker as they do not have the key to decipher it. So, no one can copy your customers’ credit card info or read your Facebook messages, phew!
Data integrity is additionally controlled
which means that sensitive data cannot be modified in any way during the transfer. At least without being noticed.
prevents your website from the so-called man in the middle attacks, when a hacker gets full access to the data transmitted between your site and customers, browsing it.
Does your business need HTTPS?
Google have been making plans towards the future of unsafe HTTP websites. As of January 2017 Google has announced that they are going to shame them with a big red “X” mark placed over the padlock icon in the URL bar for Chrome users. Both Firefox and Chrome will show warnings when websites served via HTTP – i.e. ones that aren’t using the secure HTTPS version – have a form on them. Meaning they’ll actively notify you when they aren’t secure but are asking for your information. The warning will show next to the URL address bar and is part of a long-term plan to show a warning on all pages that aren’t secured with HTTPS.
It’s not only about security…
It’s quite clear that HTTPS has something to do with the security of your customers’ data, stored and transferred via non-secure-by-default public networks. But there are other benefits to the https and ssl encryption.
You get an additional boost in search engine rankings
Though migrating to HTTPS can not instantly make your website rank number one for every single keyword, it will impact your rankings on Google’s first page in the nearest future. HTTP-websites, marked with red crossed out icon, will be considered as insecure and, could soon be totally ignored by search engines.
More trust and credibility
The first thing your visitors see when landing on your website is the green address bar, which instantly adds trustworthy to the products you offer. And it works! According to recent studies, 28.9% of visitors won’t buy anything, if they don’t see a green padlock. Moreover, 35% want to see the name of the company in the address bar to consider your eCommerce website secure enough to make a purchase.
Better referral data
Did you know that HTTP to HTTPS referral data is completely lost in your Google Analytics report, as it looks like “direct” traffic? Let’s say, your website is still on HTTP and you went viral on Facebook or YouTube. As both sites are running over HTTPS, all your referral data will be labeled as “direct” in Google Analytics, which really means “we have no clue where it came from.
Not sure if you already have SSL installed?
Run a free SSL Server Test – if the results are other than A, you’ve got some security issues.