(This article is intended for any person who owns or manages a website.)
Any time you browse to your bank or favorite e-commerce site, you are using a web protocol called HTTPS (hypertext transport protocol with secure sockets protocol) — fancy words that mean the communication between your browser and the website is encrypted and therefore unavailable to prying eyes.
Why is Encryption Important?
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you undoubtedly know that websites and user accounts across the country and the world are getting hacked, both by criminals and governments alike. Personally identifiable information like people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and credit cards are being stolen and abused on a daily basis. Our servers alone receive 100 or more attempts to compromise security daily. Yes, daily. Imagine what the rates of some of the big websites must be.
Consider this: any time a visitor to your website fills out a form, if your website isn’t using HTTPS, that information travels over the internet in text format — easily read by anyone listening on the website’s network, the visitor’s local network, or any network in between (which can number from 10 to 20 or more).
How to Implement HTTPS
You can protect your website visitors (and help limit your liability) by employing SSL and HTTPS on your website. Truthfully, it’s probably too technical for most users to implement themselves. If you want to give it a try and you don’t host your site on our servers, the first step is to contact your hosting provider for help. If you just want it done, you can hire us to set up and install a PositiveSSL certificate (required to generate encrypted communications) to your domain. This will set you up with everything you need to start using encrypted communications between your website and visitors.The cost for most setups and renewals is $50 per year. If you are unsure how to proceed, just call or email us during regular business hours and we’ll be glad to give you some free advice.