It’s no secret Google has been pushing for more sites to use the secure extension of HTTP for some time now. They have previously stated updating to HTTPS could yield some ranking benefits, which caused many websites to quickly change over HTTPS. According to their blog post:
This is a huge increase in the previous number of people using HTTPS and is a great show of strength from Google to show just how they are trying to make the web a safer place and reduce online fraud.
The update coincides with Google’s release of Chrome 68 and will show ‘Not Secure’ in the left hand side of a URL.
What exactly is HTTPS?
HTTPS (hyper text transfer protocol secure) is the secure version of HTTP (hyper text transfer protocol) which is the protocol of which data is sent between your computer and browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTP may seem insignificant, but in-fact means that the data you are sending is encrypted. Typically it is only websites whereby you are sending important information such as e-commerce sites and banks that use HTTPS, however it is now becoming the norm for all websites to use HTTPS regardless.
Does HTTPS secure my website from malicious attacks?
Many people hear ‘Secure’ and think HTTPS secures their website from malicious attacks, but the truth is that HTTPS does not protect your website from any of the following:
- DDOS Attacks
- Brute Force Attacks
- Software Vulnerabilities
- Downgrade attacks
Does HTTPS indicate a safe site?
The short answer to this is most definitely, no. Any website can purchase an SSL certificate and apply it to their website. SSL encrypts the data sent between yourself and this website, meaning it is safe from third parties. What it does not do however, is protect your information from the site owner. If a website has been compromised or is a scam or phishing website then your data is certainly not safe.
HTTPS for site owners
If you are a legitimate website owner who’s intentions are only good, purchasing an SSL certificate can help to increase the authenticity of your website for customers and search engines. It does not only show search engines such as Google that you have good intentions, but it also shows clients that you are committed to the safety of their personal information. This in turn can help customers make an informed decision on whether to purchase from yourself and could increase revenue from your site.