‘HTTP‘ initials stand for hypertext transfer protocol. The‘s’ at the end denotes secure. HTTP refers to a set of rules that govern the transfer of data over the internet. The information transferred can be images, graphics, plain text, hyperlinked text and any other piece of information. And as they put it, information is power. As such, there are more than enough reasons why people would like to have or get hold of your data.
Using a site which does not have the ‘S’ in HTTP exposes your information to any person or hacker who might be sniffing on the system. However when the ‘’s’ is added to become HTTPS, then encryption occurs. The encryption involves converting the message into several other characters which unless decrypted cannot be used by a hacker.
Remember that hypertext transfer protocol is a set of rules that control how the servers communicate with the browsers or the World Wide Web. However, irrespective of being so, the communications are maintained and transferred as plain text. What this means is that any person who can have the capacity to intercept the data can read the content.
Every time you query the internet through the browser on anything, the browser sends a command to the servers directing it to fetch the required pages. Each computer connected to the internet has a special number called internet protocol or IP. The IP addresses together with the hypertext transfer protocol are important in the correct transmission of data.
If you don’t type HTTP while trying to open a URL, then the browser will not be able to fetch the page because there is no unifying language that both the servers and the browsers can understand. In addition to the transfer of text, HTTP can also be used to transfer other Media like images and videos.
Some of the http status code in use today:
Codes control the communication between the browsers and the web-servers. However, if there is a secure connection, then the requested pages are submitted to the browser. If under any situation the requested pages cannot be fetched; then there are code errors you are likely to get. For example:
- 200 – Indicates that the web page exists
- 302 – Indicates that the site has temporary been moved.
- 301 – The pages have moved permanently
- 401 – Authorization is required to access the page
- 403 – You are not allowed to view the web pages. It shows the page you are trying to view is forbidden
- 500 – The error indicates that the server is not configured correctly.
It is worth noting that a site which has several errors in the coding, hyperlinks, or in any other content is more prone to an attack. Also avoid using plugins and software from unverified providers. If you have a strong antivirus, it will warn if you are about to download or install content form unverified source.
Why are people shifting to HTTPS?
Website owners are transferring their sites from HTTP to HTTPS. Even browsers are indirectly forcing website owners to only search on sites with an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate is what makes HTTP to change to HTTPS. The ’‘s’ in this case means security. Through implied and express evidence, it has been proved that HTTPS is more secure than HTTP. This is so because of the following reasons:
- Data encryption: HTTPS converts text into complex characters that cannot be directly used by hackers. Please note that HTTPS only protects a fraction of the site vulnerabilities. It only protects data phishing and man in the middle attack. However, it does not control brute force attacks, cross-site scripting, DDOS attacks or any other server exploits.
- Authentication: A certificate authority checks and certified that the owner of the SSL certificate is as who he/she claims to be to the internet user. This ensures that you are communicating to the right servers and not imposters.
- An SSL improves ranking and increases the trust level: Majority of the browser will highlight a site that does not have the HTTPS as insecure and dangerous. This deters potential visitors from visiting your site and erodes the trust level they might have on the site. Other search engines like Google have categorically stated that the presence of an SSL certificate on a site contributes to its SEO ranking.
- Its pay card industry compliance: If your site handles sensitive data like passwords and credit card information, you are obliged by law to secure the information collected. Failure to do so might make the website to be closed or get you into losses when any of your visitors incur losses which are directly related to the site. Having an SSL certificate takes away the risks because they have a warranty compensation for whoever incurs financial losses despite using their certificates.
- It increases profitability: Increased traffic, trust, and performance of a website are all factors that work in favor of revenue. If you have an e-commerce website, then high traffic directly translates to higher profits. However, the profitability of an institution or enterprise is dependent on a variety of factors, and thus there might not be a direct correlation between HTTPS and profitability.
Are there any undesired effects of HTTPS?
We have seen and read about the benefits of having an SSL on site, but others are not telling you about the load on the cart. HTTPS consumes more server resources, and this can negatively affect the loading speed of a website. Sustaining an SSL certificate is also costly especially if you handle sensitive data on your site. Otherwise, there are free trusted SSL certificates like those from Cloudflare and let’s encrypt.
HTTP denotes hypertext transfer protocol which is a set of rules that controls how data is transferred over the internet. It’s the way through which websites and servers communicate to portray search results. HTTP transmits data as it is, but when an ‘S’ is added, there is automatic encryption of data which reduces the chances of the information getting on the wrong hands. It’s advisable to get an SSL certificate for your site if you handle passwords or credit card details.