Raising the standards of trust: Chrome and Firefox are the first browsers to take an HTTPS-first approach. Here’s how to get your website ready.
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).
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.
Chrome is not the only browser discouraging use of the unencrypted and unsecure 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. 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.
Regardless of the type of content and business size, all websites need to be using HTTPS. 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 resulting in a better user experience.
Why Is the Internet Moving to a “Secure by Default” Model?
Many people do not understand that HTTP is inherently unsecure. When you connect over HTTP, which is an unencrypted and unauthenticated protocol, any server could be providing you with a response and it may not be the one you want to talk to. That means when you visit “http://www. MyFavoriteWebsite.com,” you may actually be talking to another server pretending to be your favourite site.
That’s due to a lack of authentication, which makes it as easy for servers to impersonate, or “spoof” each other, as it is to write the wrong name on a nametag and pretend to be someone else. Even worse, because HTTP is unencrypted, anyone else involved in the connection such as the many ISPs your data travels over to reach its destination can read all the data being sent between your computer and the server.
HTTPS solves both of these issues. Your website’s SSL certificate provides cryptographically verifiable proof of your identity verified with industry standard methods and then digitally “signed” by a CA (such as GeoTrust). This provides the authentication which makes it impossible for any other server to impersonate or spoof you. The SSL/TLS protocol provides the encryption, so no one else but the computer/server at the other end of the connection can read the data being transmitted.
You may also like to Read: 6 steps to building a holistic security strategy