What is HTTPS? A Complete Guide!

The internet is a scary place. It’s also an amazing tool for communication and knowledge, but it is not without its risks. Unfortunately, one of those risks is the lack of security on most sites. As a result, your personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and more can be stolen by hackers or other malicious entities with relative ease.


That’s where HTTPS comes into play: It ensures that all communications between you and any site using this protocol are encrypted, meaning they’re scrambled up so that nobody else can see them (except the sender and receiver). As a result, this protocol significantly reduces the risk of hacking, making it much safer to do things like buying things online or log in to your social media accounts!



#1. What is HTTPS, and how does it work?


HTTPS stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it’s one of the biggest internet security protocols used on the web today. It’s every site!


This protocol ensures that all of the information you send and receive is private and secure by encrypting it. This makes sure that nobody else can see the information in between you and whatever website or service you’re using – except for who sent it (the sender) and who’s receiving it (you).


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#2. Why do I need HTTPS?

As a consumer, you need HTTPS because of the lack of security on most sites. Since most internet traffic isn’t encrypted, an entity can intercept your information mid-transit and view anything sent or received from a non-HTTPS site. In other words, an entity could steal your credit card number, passwords or other personal details that you’re sending to said site.



#3. How do I enable HTTPS?


HTTPS is enabled by default on most sites meaning you don’t have anything to ‘do’ per se to turn it on! You can always double-check by looking at the URL bar of the site you’re using. If it’s HTTP, it’ll be a plain old ‘http://’ in your URL bar. If it’s HTTPS, it’ll start with ‘https://.’



#4. How can I tell if a site has an SSL certificate or not?


You can always check by looking at the URL bar of any site you’re using. If it’s HTTP, it’ll be a plain old ‘http://’ in your URL bar. If it’s HTTPS, it’ll start with ‘https://.’ You should also see a lock or an unbroken key symbol (depending on the browser), which means the site is using HTTPS it’s more secure than before.


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#5. When should I use HTTPS instead of HTTP?


It would be best if you always used HTTPS over HTTP as it means your data is encrypted and protected from prying eyes. This protocol ensures that none of the information you send or receive can be seen by anyone else. Always make sure to do this when you’re doing bank transactions, logging into a site or doing anything sensitive online.



#6. Benefits of using HTTPS over HTTP


There are many benefits to using HTTPS over HTTP, the biggest being the added layer of security and privacy. This means that hackers or other malicious entities can’t steal your passwords and credit card numbers. Other benefits include speed and compatibility. Since HTTPS is the standard on the internet, your connection will be faster since it won’t need to go through all of these extra steps, making for a better user experience.

#7. Alternatives to HTTPS (if you’re looking for something more affordable)


Most sites have been switching from HTTP to HTTPS, which means that you’ll probably only ever come across a site using one or the other. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, it’s possible that they don’t have an SSL certificate, and they have http:// in their URL bar. In this case, most browsers will display a warning next to your URL bar, usually about how it’s not secure.


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#8. FAQs about the protocol – what is the difference between domain validation and organization validation, why would someone want to use Extended Validation certificates, etc…


What is the difference between domain validation and organization validation?

There are different types of SSL certificates that you can get, typically denoted by a letter at the end of your certificate. For example, a basic SSL certificate verifies that a certain domain exists, but it doesn’t verify anything else about the company you’re doing business with. The most common ones are domain validated (DV) and organization validated (OV). DV checks that a certain person or company owns the website, OV verifies all of the information about the company on record with their certificate authority. This is why they’re typically more expensive than DV certificates!


How do I get an Extended Validation certificate?

Extended Validation certificates, also known as OV certificates, are the most expensive type because they do the most thorough check. That includes verifying that your company is real and exists, checking that you’re properly registered with the government (and not hiding illegal activity), checking that the address on record matches up (and doesn’t have people living in a different address), etc…


What do the terms SSL, TLS and SHA-2 mean?

SSL is an outdated protocol that is no longer used. It was created by Netscape when they first started making browsers back in the 90s. Nowadays, its primary use is compatibility with older browsers that don’t know what to do with the newer system.


TLS is a protocol that replaced SSL, which is currently used by all major browsers and servers. SHA-2 is a hashing algorithm used in obtaining a cryptographic signature from your certificate authority, preventing your certificates from being faked or forged.


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#9. List of sites that offer free https certificates (for informational purposes only)


Google, Github, Wikipedia, Mozilla offer free https certificates through their websites. Most payment processors will also give you a free SSL certificate for accepting payments on your website. The rest of these sites typically cost between $10-$100/year or more, depending on what plan you choose. Once you have this certificate installed on your site, ensure you stay up to date with it by renewing before the expiration date. For example, if you buy a 1-year certificate from Let’s Encrypt, then update your website within that 1 year, they’ll give you another free year of certificates!




In conclusion, make sure to use https everywhere on all of your websites. It protects your data from getting intercepted or forged, and trust me; hackers will steal any information they can! They’re always looking for a way into your network so stay safe by using this protocol everywhere. Thanks for reading our blog post about what https is and why it’s important in today’s world!