HTTP Protocol: What are HTTP, secure HTTPS, TSL, and SSL? HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol nowadays is probably the most widely used protocol in the world. It is the protocol that is used for viewing website pages on the Internet.
When you type in a web address like google.com or facebook.com or any other website address you will notice that HTTP is automatically added at the beginning of the web address. This shows that you are now using HTTP to retrieve this web page. In standard HTTP all the data is sent in clear or plain text. So all the information that is exchanged between your PC and that web server which includes any text that you type on that website. That information is transferred over the public Internet and because it is transferred in clear or plain text it is vulnerable to anyone who wants it like hackers.
Normally this would not be a problem if you were just browsing regular websites and did not use any sensitive data such as credit card information or passwords.
But if you enter personal sensitive data like address your name phone number passwords or credit card information this sensitive information will be transmitted from your computer and then it has to travel through the public Internet to get to that web server this makes your information vulnerable. Because a hacker that is somewhere on the Internet can listen in as that data is being transferred and steal your information.
So as you can see this hacker is stealing personal information as to its traveling over the Internet. Thus he has a name, phone number, address credit card numbers and so on. So this is a problem as far as security and this is why HTTPS was developed.
HTTP stands for secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol and this is HTTPS with a security feature. Secure HTTP encrypts the data being retrieved by HTTP. It guarantees the security of all data transferred between computers and servers over the Internet is safe by making that data unreadable. This is done by using encryption algorithms to scramble that data which is being transferred.
If you go to a website, for example, that asks you to enter your personal information like your address, credit card number or password. You will see that an S will be added to the HTTP in the website address. This S shows that you are using a secure HTTP and you are on a secure website where sensitive data is going to be passed and that data is going to be protected. And in addition to the S is added a lot of web browsers will also show a padlock symbol in the address bar to indicate that secure HTTP is being used.
So by using secure HTTP all the data which includes anything that you type is no longer sent in cleartext. It’s scrambled in an unreadable form as it travels across the internet. So if a hacker were to try and steal your information he would get a bunch of meaningless data because the data is encrypted and the hacker could not decrypt the encryption to decrypt the data. Now, HTTP secures the data using one of the two protocols, and one of these protocols is SSL.
Also Read: Domain Name System and advantages of DNS
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a protocol used to provide Internet security and uses public-key encryption to secure data. So that is basically how SSL works.
So when a computer connects to a website that’s using SSL the computer’s web browser will ask the website to identify itself then the webserver will send the computer a copy of its SSL certificate.
SSL certificate is a small digital certificate which is used to verify the identity of a website. In short, SSL is used to inform your computer that the website you are visiting is secure and trustworthy. So then the computer’s browser will check to make sure that it trusts the certificate and if it does it will send a message to the webserver then after the webserver will respond back with an acknowledgment. So when SSL session can precede then after all these steps are complete. Encrypted data can now be exchanged between your computer and the webserver.
The other protocol that secure HTTP can use is called TLS or Transport Layer Security is the latest industry-standard cryptographic protocol.
TLS is the successor of SSL and is based on the same specifications. Like SSL, TLS also authenticates the client-server and encrypts the data. It is also important to point out that a lot of websites are now using secure HTTP by default on their websites regardless if sensitive data is going to be exchanged or not and that it has a lot to do with Google because Google now marks websites as unsecured if they are not protected by SSL certificate. And if a website is not protected by SSL Google will penalize the site in their search rankings. For example, if you visit a large Web site, you will notice that the secure HTTP protocol is used instead of the standard HTTP protocol.
Benefits of SSL certificates
The SSL certificate is a simple but secure channel for sending data securely. SSL is valuable for both customers and companies, given the level of security it offers for its cloud-based transactions
Kick the Hackers
You must be extremely careful with phishing sites. These are an almost perfect replica of an original and authentic site and have many techniques to encourage you to provide your sensitive information.
But SSL certificate identifies that which we humans cannot identify. It guarantees that these fake sites will never see the light of day.
It is impossible and difficult for fake sites to obtain SSL. When customers are notified of the lack of an SSL certificate, they cannot fall prey to these fake websites.
The SSL certificate will also help you protect your website against spy attacks, mid-level attacks, and snuff attacks.
Improve Ranking and Increase Brand Value
Google has updated its algorithm a few months ago and added HTTPS as a ranking signal. If your website is protected by an SSL certificate and the web URL starts with a secure HTTPS protocol, you get the benefit of search engine ranking.
The use of SSL certificate greatly improves the perception of users of your brand. When your site is signed by an approved third-party certificate, your customers are certain to be on a valid and trusted site. They will worry less about security issues and treat you more effectively.
Secure Payments to Experience Safe Shopping
Any person will not dare to send his credit card details through a simple HTTP website. It is also mandatory that an enterprise site has an SSL certificate to comply with PCI security standards set by the payment card industries.
Without the use of an SSL certificate, enterprise sites cannot even dream of a successful credit card transaction. By applying SSL, visitors will find your website more secure and trustworthy and experience secure purchases through the HTTPS website.
Create Trust with Extended Authentication
Customers are becoming more aware of security. Since a lot of sensitive information, such as bank passwords and personal data, is exchanged on a cloud platform, it is necessary to provide a secure authentication mechanism to protect the data.
SSL achieves this by issuing a server certificate with the SSL certificate. This server certificate increases the trust factor of the service provided. Therefore helps the customer to check if you are really who you claim to be.
CAS follows a different validation process to verify the reliability of your business. The process depends on the chosen certificate: organization validation, domain validation, and extended validation. Organization validation certificate validates the reliability of the enterprise. The domain validation certificate verifies the domain authentication when the Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate confirms the existence and reliability of your business by verifying the legal documents. Ensures that the site is highly approved and safe to conduct online transactions by displaying the Green Bar
More Powerful Encryption for Secure Information
All information transmitted over a secure SSL connection is encrypted. Thus there is no way for an interceptor to decode your information.
Cryptography algorithms such as RSA, DSA, and ECC are currently used by most of the certification authorities. When credit card information and other private data travel between the web server and the user’s browser, the site is protected with solid encryption (e.g. SHA256 bit encryption), which leaves no room for hackers to sniff the transmission of information. So you can be sure that the information always reaches only the interested parties.