The Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS and How it Affects Your Christmas Business
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Does your commercial website have Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)? You know … the version of HTTP that is secured? This is the protocol where data is exchanged between your customer’s browser and your company website. It is just one letter, but that ‘S’ on the end of the HTTPS is for ‘Secure’ and it signifies that all communications between your customer’s browser and your website are encrypted. Meaning, it is safe for them to use their bank account, credit card, debit card, and personal information on your website when they shop. HTTPS is what is used most often to protect that confidential information with online transactions.

More and more consumers that shop online are becoming aware of this, and if a website doesn’t have the HTTPS, they move on to the next business. Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer have even begun displaying a padlock icon up on the address bar, so online shoppers have a visual letting them know a website has an HTTPS connection that is in effect.

The HTTPS and How it Works

HTTPS pages usually use one of two secure protocol ways to encrypt communications:

• SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
• TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Both of these protocols use an “asymmetric” Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system which is an asymmetric system that encrypts communications with two “keys.” A “private” key and a “public” key and anything that is encrypted with the private key can only be decrypted by the same and vice-versa with the public key.

There should be very strong protection for the “private” key, keeping it private by the owner. So, in regards to a website, the private key will remain securely hidden on the web server. On the other hand, the public key can be distributed to anyone and everyone that has a need to decrypt any information that was encrypted by the private key.

The HTTPS Certificate

A website’s HTTPS connection will initially send its SSL certificate to your customer’s browser and contains the public key that is needed to start a secure shopping session. Using this initial exchange, your customer’s browser and your company website initiates what is called the “SSL handshake” which involves the shared secrets and establishes a secure connection that is unique to your customer and your website.

Without that “S,” any and all communications that is sent over is in “plain text, ” and anyone that knows how to hack into a website can gain all that private information about your customers. This sets the stage for a clear danger of communication being exposed with their banking, credit card details and things like their address and social security number. So, when your website has the HTTPS connection, all that communication and information are encrypted and secure, making your customers feel safer using your website for their online shopping.

What does all this have to do with Christmas? Well, more and more people are avoiding the hassles of going to the malls and stores by shopping online. More and more manufacturers and retailers are offering “online specials” that are luring more shoppers to websites. So, make your customer’s Christmas a safer and secure feeling and call us here at Quantus Creative about upgrading your website to the HTTPS today.

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