Have you ever noticed that there are two types of homepage URLs, one that starts with HTTP: // and one that starts with HTTPS: //? Or you may have heard that it’s safe if the URL starts with HTTPS, but is that really true?
The only difference is whether the “HTTP” has a small “s” or not, but if you understand what this means, you can reduce your risk of being the victim of Internet fraud.
In this article, I will introduce the difference between HTTP (starting with HTTP: //) and HTTPS (starting with HTTPS: //) and the tricks to avoid being damaged by fraudulent sites on the Internet.
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) are rules about what kind of communication method is used when viewing the homepage. If the URL starts with “HTTPS: //”, the communication content will be encrypted. If it starts with “HTTP: //”, you can see that it is communicating without encryption.
If you compare it to mail, HTTP is like a “postcard” and HTTPS is like a “envelope”. Information exchanged via HTTP can be peeked by a third party on the delivery route like a postcard, or something can be added without permission. On the other hand, in the case of HTTPS, it is encrypted and the contents can be seen only by the recipient like a sealed letter, so it is safe.
Is HTTP useless?
HTTP connection is not secure enough.
This is because everyone, young and old, has begun to use the Internet as an indispensable part of their lives, and Internet fraud and eavesdropping and falsification methods for unencrypted communication channels have become commonplace.
Hacking procedure manuals and tools for beginners have become easily available, and it has become possible to commit phishing scams and cybercrimes such as MITM (Man in the Middle) attacks without special skills. I did.
In particular, the spread of wireless LAN has made it easier for attackers to launch MITM attacks via wireless LAN. It is recommended to use encrypted HTTPS communication to protect yourself from tampering fraud, with or without personal information entered.
In fact, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the number of victims of fraud is the highest in cybercrime. Looking at the changes in the number of consultations regarding cybercrime, etc., we can see that the number of consultations regarding fraud and scam damage (excluding Internet auctions) is on the rise, and that 67,026 consultations were received in 2015. It will be even more if you include fraud during the auction process, such as not receiving the ordered item.
HTTPS alone does not prevent 100% of fraudulent and scam crimes, but HTTPS does not allow strangers to eavesdrop on communications, makes fraud difficult, prevents malware contamination, and determines the legitimacy of the publisher. There are technical advantages such as being able to do it.
So is it 100% secure if you communicate over HTTPS?
Why it’s not safe to just start with “https: //”
HTTPS communication is more secure than HTTP communication, but it is not 100% secure.
Even if the communication is HTTPS, the data cannot be protected unless the communication partner is correct.
Certainly, if HTTPS is used, encrypted communication is possible, so the risk of eavesdropping by a third party is reduced. However, it doesn’t make sense if the other party is a fake. It is important that the other person is genuine.
For example, in the case of mail and telephone, the postal company and telephone company will prepare the infrastructure and connect to the real person properly. However, on the Internet, the infrastructure is created by everyone, so unlike mail and telephone, there is no business operator that guarantees that you can connect to the real person. It is relatively easy for bad people to get into the communication system without knowing it. Therefore, in HTTPS communication, a “certificate (SSL server certificate)”, which is a means for confirming the communication partner as well as encryption, can be used.
Recently, however, even this certificate has been misused for crimes. You can use certificates to create fake websites that look like they are real, lure victims into stealing personal information, or infect them with malicious malware. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish whether the certificate is safe even with HTTPS.
In fact, any individual domain name owner can have a certificate for free. A type of certificate called domain authentication (DV), which may be available for free, is issued after being authenticated as the legitimate owner of the domain name, but it is confirmed that it is a genuine company or organization. not. In other words, even if the owner of the domain name is a criminal, you can have a valid certificate.
Therefore, in order to protect yourself from Internet scams, in addition to HTTPS, you need skills to determine how genuine the other person is and whether you are a scammer. Also, there is a very convenient trick to distinguish the real thing by using a certificate that you can rest assured, but it is not known unexpectedly, so I will introduce it later.
“Always HTTPS”, which is safe and strong against SEO, will be the mainstream for future websites
As mentioned in the previous section, HTTPS sites can look up the real operator from certificates, but the benefits of HTTPS websites are not the only ones.
If you’re looking to break into (Search Engines), I suggest checking out : ▷ How Do Search Engines work? Ranking, Crawling, Indexing …
HTTPS websites are easier to find in search results.
Google, a major search site, prioritizes the display of HTTPS pages over HTTP pages on search result pages. This is because the HTTPS page, which allows encrypted communication by HTTPS, protects the user’s information. Therefore, “always SSL” is one of the SEO measures for website operators.
In addition, some websites that are HTTPS, such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, support a communication style called HTTP / 2, and the display speed of web pages is faster than that of HTTP. In the past, HTTPS pages were considered slow, but recent technological innovations have made it possible for HTTPS pages to appear crisper.
Therefore, the number of “always-on SSL” websites that make the entire website HTTPS is increasing because it not only enhances the security of user information but also improves the user experience.
In the past, only the form for entering personal information was HTTPS, and all other pages were HTTP websites, but from now on, it seems that you will see more HTTPS pages.
If you’re looking to break into (SEO), I suggest checking out : ▷ A Complete Guide to SEO: What You Need to Know in 2021
Advantages of using HTTPS
What are the benefits of using https?
Here, I’ll explain some benefits of using https in a sequence.
Enhanced security :
The first advantage of using https is that security can be strengthened.
As explained above, https refers to safety s. With https conversion, security is strengthened, such as encrypted communication, so users can use the website more safely than before.
For example, when purchasing a product on a mail-order site, you need to enter personal information such as your name, address, and credit card number. If the site is https, the communication will be encrypted, so the risk of leaking such personal information is low.
On the other hand, if the communication is not encrypted such as http, personal information may be easily leaked. It is unbearable for anyone to know and misuse your information.
However, with enhanced security and encrypted communication, https, the possibility of information leakage to the outside can be minimized.
In order to operate a website that is trusted by users, let’s promote https conversion.
Easy to gain an advantage in SEO :
If you’re looking to break into (SEO and ranking ), I suggest checking out : ▷ How SSL Certifications Can Affect SEO And Google Rankings
There is a lot of information in the world of the Internet, but the articles displayed at the top of the search are said to be related to the domain rank of the site to which the article is sent.
The domain rank is used as an index to measure the superiority of the site, and since the sites of government offices and major companies are highly authoritative and reliable, the domain rank is inevitably highly evaluated.
Although the method of increasing the domain rank is not clearly stated, it is said that it will increase as the positive impact on users is large and the number of accesses increases.
It is this https conversion that is related to the increase in the number of accesses. According to Google’s official opinion, “If there are multiple articles of similar quality, the https-enabled site will be displayed preferentially at the top.”
In addition to HTTPS conversion, it is a search ranking that is determined by considering various factors in a complex manner, but like the above Google official view, there is a possibility that by converting to HTTPS, the number of articles searched will be increased and it will be ranked high. Will be higher. In other words, it is necessary to make it HTTPS from the viewpoint of SEO.
Effective use for website analysis :
Website analysis, such as the search ranking and number of accesses to the company’s website, and user transitions within the site, has become indispensable for the companies that operate the website.
Even in such website analysis, it is said that https conversion has a certain effect.
If Google search itself is converted to https, that information will remain in the access log as “users from Google” and will help analyze the data.
On the other hand, sites that are not https-enabled cannot determine where the user came from, and are not very useful as a material for analysis.
Also, let’s assume that only the top page is made https, assuming the inflow from the search engine that made it https. However, in this case, if the other content to be transitioned remains https / http, it will not be saved in the cookie and will be registered as another user.
Therefore, if only the top page is converted to https, the behavior of the user on the site will be unknown.
To prevent these things from happening, all content needs to be https.
It is easy to avoid converting a huge amount of content to HTTPS because it takes time, but converting all content to HTTPS will lead to more effective website analysis.
Speeding up websites :
In order to speed up the communication of websites, there is a next-generation protocol called http / 2.
In order to use this http / 2, it is currently essential to convert the website to https.
Therefore, if you make it https, you will be able to introduce http / 2, and you can enjoy the advantage of speeding up your website.
Originally, http / 2 is a protocol developed for the purpose of speeding up http, strengthening security, and speeding up WEB display on mobile devices.
In the past, http was required to use http / 2, and it was said that introducing https would add a high amount of data and reduce the communication speed.
However, nowadays, it is said that the communication speed will hardly decrease by switching to https.
Therefore, if you make all the websites HTTPS and enjoy the benefits of HTTP / 2, you can make the most of both benefits.
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