Introduction to Why HTTPS
Deploying HTTPS on your website with a valid SSL/ TLS certificate for your domain has long been a security best practice for website owners, whether you own one domain or dozens, and whether you process transactions or not. SSL/ TLS provides a measure of trust for your users and customers, especially when your certificate is issued by a reputable Internet security company, known as a Certificate Authority (CA). Over the last few years, the need for security has grown—due to the expanded role of the internet and the amount of sensitive data that is exchanged online, and due to rising expectations of almost every major technology company. SSL is now a precondition for the modern web. Browsers have already begun giving preferential treatment to HTTPS. New web technologies, which unlock performance benefits and rich functionality, require HTTPS.
Now, the latest changes to the Google Chrome and Firefox browsers are making SSL/TLS certificates more important than ever before.
In fact, for many companies, having an SSL/TLS certificate will be vital to continued business operations.
Chrome is not the only browser discouraging use of the unencrypted and insecure HTTP protocol. Firefox displays a broken lock icon (with a red strike-through) in the address bar when a page containing a password field does not have an HTTPS connection, in addition to an in-form warning.2 This feature was added to Firefox in 2017, and like Google Chrome, it is expected that warnings and negative indicators for HTTP pages will be expanded. Safari also added a similar warning in earl 2018.3 Regardless of the type of content and business size, all websites need to be using HTTPS (the secure version of the HTTP protocol which uses SSL/TLS to provide an authenticated and encrypted connection). In addition to ensuring visitor privacy, websites deploying HTTPS will also enjoy higher search engine rankings, have the ability to leverage HTTP/2 performance enhancements, and be able to prevent third-party content injection (such as ads inserted by an ISP or Wi-Fi hotspot), resulting in a better user experience.
The solution for e-commerce merchants is straightforward:
Encrypt your website by procuring an SSL/TLS certificate that meets users’ high expectations for privacy and lets visitors know your site is safe. Visitors who feel that your site is secure are less likely to bounce from your site or abandon their carts, which translates into more sales and higher revenue for your business.
But there are many ways to accomplish this task, and not all of them are created equal. This paper provides more detail on the many new internet standards and browser changes which are requiring HTTPS, explores the value of advanced website security for online merchants and their customers and outlines the features to look for in an SSL/TLS certificate.
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Your Quick Reference Guide to HTTPS Everywhere