In today’s world, data breaches are an ever-growing threat to online security. It is essential to protect sensitive information that is exchanged between a user’s device and a website. This is where HTTPS comes into play – it stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS is an encrypted version of HTTP that makes sure the user’s data remains secure during transmission. Implementing HTTPS is thus crucial in safeguarding users’ data and maintaining the trust of the users in your website.
Here are the steps to follow to implement HTTPS on your website:
1. Obtain an SSL/TLS Certificate: An SSL/TLS certificate is necessary for the encryption process. Typically, web hosting providers offer SSL certificates. However, you’ll need to purchase a custom SSL/TLS certificate for your website. You can purchase it from an SSL certificate provider, and the cost can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on the level of security and the type of certificate.
2. Install the SSL/TLS Certificate: Once you have obtained a certificate, it needs to be installed on your website. This must be done correctly to avoid any errors or warnings. You can install it yourself or ask for technical help from your hosting provider or web developer.
3. Change website URLs to HTTPS: After the SSL certificate is installed, your website must have URLs changed from “http” to “https.” This can be done using a plugin or altering the website code or with the help of your web developer. This ensures that when a user visits your website, the connection they establish is secured by HTTPS.
4. Update internal links: All internal links on the website should be updated to HTTPS to ensure that all the pages on the website are secured, as internal linking is a crucial component of website navigation.
5. Update external links: Updating external links to HTTPS is a time-consuming process, but it is essential. External links to other websites may not always use HTTPS on their website. However, browsers can throw warnings or block unsecured links when the user clicks on them.
6. HSTS implementation: HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) can be used to increase website security. HSTS automatically forces web browsers to load your website using HTTPS, even if a user types ‘http’ instead of ‘https’. It also informs web browsers not to load the site through unsafe HTTP. It’s usually a one-line code that can be added to a website, however it should only be implemented after you have a firmly established HTTPS website.
7. Test HTTPS implementation with Qualys SSL Server test: Once HTTPS has been implemented, it is essential to perform security tests to determine if there are any vulnerabilities or misconfiguration. Using Qualys SSL Server Test you can test your website for the SSL installation and other issues that impact HTTPS security.
In conclusion, HTTPS security is an important measure to safeguard your user’s data while visiting your website. Implementing HTTPS guarantees that the sensitive data is encrypted and as such can’t be intercepted by hackers whilst in transit. You can follow the six steps outlined above to ensure that the implementation of HTTPS is performed correctly on your website and is secure. Protecting your user’s data and ensuring the privacy of their browsing experience should be a top priority, and HTTPS is the best practice for achieving that goal.