A Guide to Understanding HTTPS Security Benefits

Ameer Abbas No Comments June 12th, 2017

If you have not already moved your website to HTTPS, we might just be able to convince you into making the transition. Apart from serving as a ranking signal from Google, HTTPS enables websites to offer users the utmost level of security and protection on exploring their pages. It redirects the connection to an encrypted tunnel, making it impossible for prying eyes to track user-activity.


HTTPS Security Helps Wikipedia in Fighting Government-Sponsored Censorship

A research from the Harvard community discovers that Uzbekistan, China, and Thailand were intermittently interfering with specific language projects of Wikipedia. Although there is not much detail on the reasoning, it is clear many entities want to regulate and control what information Wikipedia exposes. In light of this, Wikipedia decided on transitioning to an HTTPS-only content delivery platform.

Fast-forwarding to June 2016 (exactly one year after shifting to HTTPS) and Wikipedia noticed a huge decrease on censorship of its pages globally. This is quite a remarkable discovery and further elaborates the need for HTTPS certificates on all the websites we visit. The security protocol typically prevents censors from seeing the user activity on different pages.

As a result, governmental-agencies across different countries are incapable of seeing what page a user is viewing. This leaves censors with only two options. They must decide between allowing access to all articles or block the entire site. The latter would definitely cause worldwide havoc. This forces censors to leave Wikipedia alone, which reinforces the imperativeness of shifting to HTTPS.

If you want to maintain site security and ensure full accessibility, you should consider shifting to a HTTPS-only content delivery platform and update all pages with .htaccess file edit or canonical tags. Also, work on deploying protocol independent URLs to offer users maximum privacy on your website. Doing so, will prevent users from seeing warning signs like this:

understanding https benefits


Benefits of HTTPS Security Certificates

Websites that use HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTP) have a safer exchange of information. By using this certificate, the computers agree on a “code”. This encrypts the connection and scrambles the messages so that no external party can pry on user activity. HTTPS uses the code on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This keeps all data of visitors safe when sending information back and forth.


Protection from Hackers

HTTPS provides more web security in comparison to HTTP. It uses SSL for saving your website from hackers. All personal data passes through an encrypted tunnel, which is almost impossible to hack. It also guarantees the security of personal data of users on the website, especially when making an online purchase. This is why most e-commerce websites are found using HTTPS.


Secure DNS Infrastructure

HTTPS offers a more secure DNS infrastructure providing a number of benefits, which includes confidentiality, integrity, and identity. Lack of encryption in HTTP fails to offer you complete privacy and anonymity. It means that you are inadvertently giving access to private information. Below is an example of visiting a website on Safari that does not use HTTPS.

Secure DNS Infrastructure


Higher Security for Browsers

HTTPS also reduces the chances of trackers stealing your information. Since everything passes through a secure server channel, it is impossible to initiate any attack. If you use HTTP, on the other hand, you may never know when things go wrong. A few years back, Facebook used a simple HTTP certificate for its login page. This led to many hackers injecting a JavaScript to steal user passwords, after which they shifted to HTTPS for more security.


Leverage Extra Security with HTTPS Everywhere

Users who want to leverage better security for exchanging information can use an extension that goes by the name HTTPS Everywhere. This remarkable add-on available for Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and Android phones, as it rewrites requests from HTTP websites transforming them into HTTPS.

https everywhere

This reduces the chances of anyone prying on your activity, as all data passes through a secure and encrypted tunnel just like on a real HTTPS certificate website. You even have the option of blocking all unencrypted requests, if you do not want to encounter unsafe websites.


Final Words

As the internet begins to become an unsafe place in terms of privacy and anonymity, it is crucial for users/websites to look for solutions to help protect identity and confidentiality. HTTPS servers as a vital tool for offering great security to both: websites and users. If you want to fight censorship or simply offer utmost level of protection to users, it is time you considered using HTTPS.

Ameer Abbas

Ameer Abbas is a senior editor and a most viewed writer on Quora in Internet Privacy, Cyber Security, VPN and Torrents. He has continued work as a privacy advocate with Best VPN Provider and is working towards becoming an established privacy & security author online. Ameer takes a keen interest in technology, geo-political affairs and international cyber laws. Ameer loves outdoor sports including cricket, swimming, athletics, and football.
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