Before we talk about HTTPS Everywhere, we must make sure you know what an SSL certificate is. This is an essential part in the security of any website.
Security in the online worlds is of utmost importance. Data is exchanged on a daily basis between websites and users. On many occasions, a lot of data is sensitive in nature. This means that nobody should know about it, besides the owner and the website in use. But how can you make sure that no one will know about personal information that is only for the user at hand? That’s what will talk about first.
But here’s an example to help you understand this better: Let’s say you’re the owner of a website that sells speakers. One of your visitors decides to buy one of your available items on sale. What happens now? Well, in most cases the site asks for a payment method. For this example, I’ll talk about credit card payment. Once he starts to complete the order, he’s taken to a request form (most of the time) where the credit card information needs to be entered.
When all is done correctly, the form will send the data to the payment processor for handling the payment. But what happens with this important data on its way there? If you don’t take security measures, someone could hack your clients credit card info and use it as his own (that would be really bad of course).
Installing SSL to Your Website
What you must do is, install an SSL certificate on your site. This certificate is basically a tool that will encrypt your buyer’s sensitive data, so nobody will be able to access it besides you (the store site) and the destination server (payment handler). All the information is secured for a safe payment processing.
Having an SSL is important for any site owner, not just for those who have online markets set up. If you have such a certificate installed on your site, the visitors will feel much safer and will come back more often, because they know you care about their safety while visiting your website.
There’s another plus if you install an SSL. Google and all the other major search engines like Yahoo or Bing will give your site the advantage over the others that may not have an SSL installed on them. This is because they want to keep the web a secure space, thus giving your site a preference is going to make that happen.
How do you know if you have an SSL installed on your website or not? It’s pretty simple to find out. Just take a look in the address bar of your personal site (or any other), where the URL appears. If you have HTTPS written before the site’s name, you can be sure there’s an SSL on it. But if you only have HTTP written without the letter S it has no SSL installed. It’s that simple.
Where to Find Reliable SSL Certificate?
Where can you find a reliable SSL certificate to install on your website? This really matters on your personal needs and resources. For example, there are free versions or paid versions of SSL certificates. I’ll give one of the most popular paid options right below:
If you have a website, or you want to create one, you have to look for a suitable hosting company, right? Many of these companies come with plans that include a free SSL certificate in their offering. You just have to choose a hosting company that has this option available. Even if you want a hosting plan that costs a small amount of money every month, you can find one that suits your needs and has a certificate included for the whole website.
If you already own a website, you can still get an SSL certificate. The simplest way to do this is to buy one from one the available companies online. But what if you want a free SSL certificate that really costs no money at all?
You can do that too. Yes, really. There are certain companies online who give you a free SSL certificate to try out even for 90 days. But the best available method is to use Let’s Encrypt free SSL certificate. What is this? Let me tell you.
Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certificate
Let’s Encrypt is a service that allows its users to own free SSL certificates for all their domain names. Basically, the goal for this service is to give any site owner the ability to own a secure website that safely handles the user’s data.
Let’s Encrypt is an open-source platform. This is great news for any user. It means that you can freely use the service for as long as you want, it has no free trial. Free SSL is available anytime. Another thing that comes from the open-source nature of the tool is the community and documentation.
Both of these can be great assets when making your site safe for your visitors. For instance, the documentation is of great help when you install the certificate. If you make everything as said in there, the security of the site will be assured. The 2048-bit or 4096-bit encryption also makes this possible.
The community behind this platform is very helpful as well. Why is that? Maybe you stumble upon a problem or a certain issue while installing or renewing the certificate. There’s a huge chance that somebody else has already dealt with that issue in the past. You can find that specific forum and use the answer you get from there to resolve the problem.
But if this won’t work, you still have the documentation to help you out. It covers everything you can imagine regarding the software.
Now you know that owning an SSL isn’t that hard of a thing after all. But it’s certainly of utmost importance.
Because owning an SSL certificate is that important, you must make sure it works well on the entire site. In many situations, an SSL could work properly, but only on some pages of the whole website. You don’t want this, because when a user visits the site all of it has to be secured, not just some pages. That is why you have to force the certificate on the whole site. This will secure all of it. To make the web more secure, the HTTPS Everywhere extension was developed.
This is the part where we talk about HTTPS Everywhere. Basically, this is the tool that will ensure the security of your entire website if something goes wrong. HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that works with Firefox, Chrome and Opera for now, and encrypts all the communications made on the site. The term itself, simply talks about the fact that HTTPS is used across the entire website not only selectively.
This extension is developed by The Tor Project and Electronic Frontier Foundation. It was first inspired by the extensive use of HTTPS requests instead of simple HTTP. Google since 2014 is giving an advantage to the sites using HTTPS over HTTP because wants to protect the web better by only allowing safe web pages on it.
Benefits of Using HTTPS Everywhere
What are the benefits for using HTTPS Everywhere even the site already has an SSL installed on it? Let’s see!
The whole online economy is built on trust. What gives more trust than a secure and safe website? Nothing. If a website doesn’t secure all the connections between the users and the site itself, that is not acceptable. This is because all the site has to be protected against all kinds of data thefts, content injections or modifications and privacy problems.
A considerable bonus if you use HTTPS on all your site, is that you’ll receive reinforcement from the major web companies who stand behind this change. Mozilla, Apple and Google have steadily encouraged the adoption of HTTPS over the last some years to make the online world as secure as possible, and started to punish those who still use simple HTTP on their sites. That is why it’s better to use a modern SSL certificate on the entire site.
Many new features developed in the recent years require a stable HTTPS connection. Something else that is a major plus if you use HTTPS Everywhere is the fact that you can use these new features. An improved website performance will be allowed if you let these new features work on your site by installing an SSL on the whole of it.
One of these new improved features is called HTTP/2. This ensures a better web communication. Many other options are available as well if you use this feature, for example: geolocation, better notifications, new compression methods, Service Workers and Google’s AMP.
I just mentioned some of the perks if you choose to use HTTPS Everywhere. But there are many more that could come in handy when managing your website.
But keep in mind that the future of the web stands in HTTPS not HTTP. Make sure that your site uses the latest SSL certificates and force it on the whole website, so your users can feel safe no matter where they are or what feature they use.