HTTPS

Why is the Fight for HTTPS

October 14, 2014 | By Editor 

Summary

Google has upped its privacy policy and has been actively to make the Internet more safe for users across the globe. The company’s primary goal was to encourage online businesses to add a layer of encryption, that is turning HTTP to HTTPS.

HTTPS

Why is that Extra ‘S’ Important

Because that extra letter can make hackers, government surveillance, spy agencies, and censorship attempts by authoritative management very difficult to pull off.

Google has been highly rewarding to websites that converted to HTTPS, while being very strict towards sites that refused to comply. Sites with HTTPS url were given higher rankings on the search engines search page, while the rest were totally shunned.

And, Google is not alone. A group of increasingly vocal security experts, activists, and corporates are all working towards encrypted Web traffic. In a way, the HTTPS crowd is slowly winning along the way.

Most Web users are familiar with HTTPS as the padlock icon in their Web browser’s address bar that is displayed when users log into a bank’s site, or check their mails.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a HTTP traffic with either Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) beneath.

Though primarily used to protect user names, passwords, and online transactions, arguments on whether to be using it for everything continues.

HTTPS ensures the integrity of the information requested.

As a user, you have the right to know if you are getting what you have asked, and whether data you requested is not tampered in any way before it is sent to you. Recent studies have found that modifying a YouTube video can secretly deliver malware. And if there is no server authentication, then your system or mobile could be easily compromised.

Importance of HTTPS- Why Some Sites Still Reluctant to Adopt

Many security experts, such as Yan Zhu, Yahoo’s security engineer and Parker Higgins, an activist at Electronic Frontier Foundation, have said that it is time for HTTP to be eradicated completely.

Social networking sites Facebook, Tumblr, and services WordPress have made HTTPS the default connection over the past year.

But it was in August this year things became quite serious than before. Internet giant Google announced that it will be considering HTTPS as a ranking signal in its search results. In simple words, sites with HTTPS will be rated high in its search page.

Yet, barring a few top Internet businesses, there are a few factors that have been holding the widespread adoption of HTTPS back. They are:

  • Some online businesses still believe that by just visiting their website a user’s connection cannot be hijacked, and therefore do not see a reason to encrypt.
  • Few others are just not enthusiastic enough to enforce HTTPS themselves. These businesses do not find themselves sensitive enough for a interception.
  • Lastly, cost and effort in implementing the secure protocol.

Cost is one of the key factors that makes it especially difficult for content delivery networks (CDNs), to go HTTPS by default.

CDNs are used by majority of sites and services to distribute their content across Web servers in multiple locations so that pages load quickly regardless of where the user is in the world.

Conclusion

Companies make decisions on how to offer their services, such as SSL delivery, based on their customers’ needs. Some customers opt for SSL delivery of their websites, while others do not.

According to Mattew Prince, Cofounder and CEO of Cloud Flare, consumers should pay to be safe on the Internet. Online security is rather a responsibility and not a service. But as of today’s scenario if money buys safety, then paying for the same is justified.

ssl certificate

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