Encryption is IMPORTANT!
Whether it is about your bank account, credit card details or website, security is a must and not just nice-to-haves.
Client-side security measures like updating operation systems regularly and doing well with firewall are just a part of it. But the main part is securing the HTTPS protocol. Neglecting the server-side security is a big NO!
Because the procedure of internet access goes through many computers, not just your own. Which refers to the fact that your security credentials are roaming about over a certain network until they reach the final destination.
For instance, suppose you need to store your lifetime savings in a bank. But to reach the bank with the money you need to carry it in something. In that case, what would you prefer? A brief case or just a plastic bag?
Similarly, there are various ways to secure your website, but it all depends on your preference. And if you ask about my recommendation, I would suggest, an HTTPS protocol.
But before we jump directly into HTTPS, let’s get into the details of the Internet security protocols and encryption procedures.
Starting with, SSL.
SSL and Its Versions
Netscape Communications invented Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Protocol for their browser Netscape Navigator.
It was a revolution. Netscape had already judged the issues that were gonna affect the future of website security.
The first version of SSL was never available for public usage and the next version were too poor to be used. Then came SSL 3.0.
It was a sigh of relief for those who were eager to secure their websites as SSL 3.0 was providing good security and the other perk was, it was completely bug free. As a result, giants like American Express, MasterCard etc. thought of availing it for their commercial purposes.
Then came TLS 1.0.
Difference Between SSL 3.0 And TLS 1.0
Transport Layer Security (TSL) 1.0 is also referred as SSL 3.1 due to its similarity with SSL 3.0.
TSL is nothing but a security session located between the Application and the Transport layers of an OSI model. It is a very highly encrypted area where the third parties can get their hands on your data only if they have the encryption key.
Deeper in HTTPS Protocol
HTTPS is actually a set of several protocols like HTTP, TLS and TCP. And proves to be really helpful when it is about internet security. Data here passes through a layered pipeline which appears somewhat like this.
TBH, the protocols, HTTPS and SSL are not efficient enough just for the security setups but is also equally important for the SEO, eCommerce and various other sectors.
And, for the same reason, Google’s Security Team announced that their 56th version of Google Chrome will notify the user about the security levels of the particular website they are visiting. Technically, it will inform the user if the website has an SSL certificate.
And even if someone visits the site that doesn’t have an SSL certificate, and entering there if the visitor is willing to provide the website with any confidential details, then chrome will highlight the security with more aggressiveness.
It isn’t like if you purchase something from such a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate will end up looting you but making any monetary transactions from such a website wouldn’t be my call.
And similarly, other people will also think the same if they find your website not secure enough. So, how will you make your website secure with an HTTPS protocol? Let’s get into the details.
Securing website with HTTPS protocol
Luckily, setting up a website with an SSL certificate, which is nothing but securing your website with an HTTPS protocol is not much of a tough job.
All you require doing is follow these 5 steps.
1. Opt for A Dedicated IP Address
So, you might be wondering what a dedicated IP address mean. Let me tell you.
A dedicated IP address is nothing but an internet address that is assigned with only your website. Like, if you get your IP address from a web hosting plan like GoDaddy, then your they make you share your address with others. And, like you can already sense it, this isn’t a secure option.
You can just ask your host to provide you with a dedicated IP address. It might cost you a bit higher for the while but for the long run, it is so important as your ROI is.
2. Get an HTTPS Certificate
Such a certificate is more like an identity card of your site. It is the proves that your website solely belongs to you.
An HTTPS certificate is nothing but a series of numbers and letters that prove your domain to be unique. So, whenever a visitor enters your site, the browser checks the HTTPS certificate of your website.
There are three types of HTTPS certificates.
- Paid HTTPS certificates: You need to pay for these HTTPS certificates. Certificate authorities that provide such certificates take a very minimal fee in return to the certification.
- Cloud-Based HTTPS certificates: Content Delivery Networks and Website Application Firewalls provide such kind of certificates. You can also avail them from several services such as Security, who acts as a proxy for client sites.
- Free HTTPS certificates: You can avail these certificates on your own without any one’s help. Various open certificate authorities provide sites with such certificates. For example, Let’s Encrypt.
3. Activate the HTTPS Certificate
The web host that you’ll avail for your website’s security, it will take care of this part.
Now, if you want to do it all by yourself, then all you’ll need to do is generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This will provide a series of codes to the Certificate Authority while applying for the HTTPS certificate. This contains all the main codes required for accessing your website.
4. Install the HTTPS Certificate
Your web host is also capable of completing this step for you. And this step might take 1-2 days to get completed.
But if you want to get it done all by yourself then what you need to do is, visit the web host control panel, get into the SSL/TSL menu and select the “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)” option.
Paste your certificate there and then hit submit.
5. Update Your Site to Use HTTPS
When you visit https://yoursitename.com and find it loading, it means that your website is successfully been secure with the HTTPS protocol.
Though, there are things you need to take care of even after this. You’ll need to update all your web pages so that no visitor can access them and get hands on your sensitive details.
For this, what you need to do is,
- Update all such links that get redirected to your web page.
- Redirect users to the updated site who won’t require the HTTPS protection through the server.
- You can also use a mod-rewrite in the apache configuration in the server.
So, now as you know how to secure your website through HTTPS protocol, I guess you’ll be planning to look forward to it. I have tried to help you with the easiest way of dealing with it.
I hope it is helpful enough and if you face any other issues regarding this, don’t bother giving us a call.
Brij Bhushan Singh is a Professional Blogger and Content writer. He is working with Ethane Web Technologies. In his professional life he has written many useful articles about WordPress, Blogs, Social media, SEO and almost all about Digital Marketing.