Since 2014, Google has included website security in its list of ranking criteria. In short, that means sites with default HTTPS encryptions could rank higher using the popular search engine.

But besides higher rankings and increased visibility, what are the benefits of switching your website to HTTPS? And what distinguishes it from the similarly named HTTP? Our beginner’s guide to website security is here to clear it all up for you.

Safety first

HTTP and HTTPS are different versions of the same technology. Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is a less secure version of HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure). They’re both used to transfer data from a web server to a browser, allowing you to view web pages.

Using HTTP sites increases the risk of your data being hacked and used by outside sources. The data passed between the two systems is not encrypted and could be intercepted, read and used by third parties.

HTTPS sites, on the other hand, use one of two security layers to encrypt data: SSL (secure sockets layer) or TLS (transport later security). Both protocols use an asymmetric system, with a private and public key that can only be decrypted when both parties agree.

Benefits of HTTPS

While there are no rules or laws stating that all websites must use a HTTPS connection, more and more online companies are opting for the secure version. There are a number of benefits of choosing a HTTPS certificate, including:

  • Personal customer data, such as payment details, is encrypted and cannot be intercepted and decrypted.
  • Site visitors are confident that you’re a registered business and that you own the domain.
  • Increased trust from customers, meaning they are more likely to make purchases on your site.

Spotting a secure site

If your personal information isn’t protected on a HTTP site, it’s good to be able to spot which websites are safe to use. Luckily, a HTTPS connection is easily identified, as the URL will feature the code at the front.

Also, most browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome, show a small padlock symbol in the address bar to make it even easier to spot a safe-to-use site.

Keeping customers’ data safe

If you own a website, especially an ecommerce site, it’s vital that your pages are encrypted and safe to use. Without a HTTPS connection, users may feel unsafe and choose to use a different site.

At Nettl Bury, we don’t compromise when it comes to security. All of our websites are hosted on Amazon’s cloud servers, and run with a HTTPS connection using SSL, providing maximum protection for your site and customers.

If you’re looking to create a secure site for your business, feel free to contact our team today, who can talk you through our web design services in more detail.