HTTPS and SSL: this is what you need to know

Technical terms such as HTTPS and SSL confuse people from time to time. Let me clarify it here. In short, these are abbreviations which are not clear on the first sight, but relatively easy to explain.

HTTPS = Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
SSL = Secure Sockets Layer

SSL respectively TLS (transport layer security, as known nowadays) is used by the HTTPS protocol. You probably know HTTP (without a trailing “S”) better. It is still pretty common and labeled as “not secure” in the browser address line. This happens because there is no HTTPS (which is secure) is available for that particular page you are on. This also means that content is transmitted without any encryption and can be read by anyone.

HTTPS does avoid that by using a special certificate which must be installed on the server where the website is hosted. The trend shows clearly in that direction so one day every website will be encrypted by using HTTPS. Transactions such as submitted forms, credit card data or user names and passwords are transmitted fully encrypted. If your browser shows a green lock above, everything is fine and your interaction with the website is encrypted and safe:

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Google puts their focus on HTTPS as well. This means that websites which provide HTTPS are ranked higher by Google. This is another reason that you should have an HTTPS certificate installed on your website. There are really only advantages and once configured, you do not have to worry about anymore.
You can also find SSL/HTTPS in my offer as an important aspect.