When you buy web hosting space on the server, it is like you are buying an office for you on internet. Your web pages are like information brochures, contact forms are like your pseudo sales representatives who are interacting with your customers. Like you take every precaution to secure your office premises from theft and any other mishaps, you need to secure your website from the malicious hackers. In this regards understanding for SSL and https is very important.
What is Secure Socket Layer (SSL)?
We know that a web browser sends an http request for the web page to the web server (which your web hosting). Looking at this http request, the web server sends back contents of the requested page and browser shows it to you.
This data goes through the following layers: application, transport and network. This data being plain text, any hacker tapping this communication, will be able to take undue advantage out of it. We encrypt this communication and no one will be able to decipher its meaning.
Secure Socket Layer or SSL, is the protocol which is used a transport layer to make this happen. It encrypts the data before sending it to the other party. This makes the communication channel more secure.
What is https?
Now, what is https and what is its connection to SSL? Simply put, https is a secure version of http. With http protocol the communication between the browser and web server happens in plain text. Imagine you are giving credit card details or bank account number etc. for payment processing. Http protocol being complete insecure, someone can intercept the communication and learn about these sensitive personal details. Use this information in a wrong way. This is Man in the Middle (MiM) attack.
To protect the information over the wire from this MiM attack, secure transport mechanism like SSL should be used. https protocol secures such communication by using the secure socket layer or SSL.
To make your website secure, what you need to do it install an SSL certificate. This SSL certificate contains encryption keys called public key and private key. Using these keys, the entire communication between your website( hosting server) and your customer’s browser is encrypted.
You may think that I have created the website to provide only information about my products and services. There is nothing to hide, all this information is public only. I am not selling anything on my website. So, no question of having any personal sensitive information like credit card details, bank accounts etc. . Why should I bother?
You are right about only one thing that you are not collecting any sensitive or financial information from the client. However you should be still concerned about and act to protect your website contents. Imagine if a hacker hacks your website and start modifying your contents or start displaying some messages which will be detrimental to your business? Using https is the first step to counter this.
Secondly, Google Chrome web browser shows a “not secure” warning when you visit a website which is using http instead on https. This kind of warning would certainly freak out the visitors and ultimately you will tend to lose the business.
If you are irritated because your website is often getting hacked, please contact MagicWorksHost. We can settle this very easily and kind of forever.
Please refer to our blog post Reasons for getting SSL certificate for your website.