Why do websites use HTTPS

on Friday, 10 November 2017.

If you’ve been using the web at all in the past few months you will likely have noticed a large increase in green padlocks next to the URL in web browsers. These green padlocks indicate the website encrypts data between your browser and the server.

Some people refer to HTTPS as SSL which stands for Secure Socket Layer, to say a website has SSL is technically incorrect as all modern browsers actually use a technology called Transport Layer Security or TLS for short which is more modern.

Why would you want to encrypt data between browser and server?

The security of our data is becoming ever more important as more and more areas of our lives are impacted by the digital age. If you are not using a secure connection it is possible for somebody with the right equipment to monitor everything you do online. However once you are using a secure connection for instance HTTPS which currently uses TLS technology it makes intercepting very much harder.

Why have more websites started to use HTTPS?

There are two main reasons why more websites have started adopting HTTPS. Firstly Google publicly announced HTTPS would be a ranking signal and secondly people have become more protective of their online data.

Before Google announced that HTTPS would be a ranking factor they called for HTTPS everywhere at Google’s I/O conference.

You can find more information on Transport Layer Security (TLS) here http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/Transport-Layer-Security-TLS and Using TLS to protect data here https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/tls-external-facing-services

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