What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is one of the most common protocols used on the Internet. It is used to transfer websites, files, data, and more across the Internet, but does so in a way that’s encrypted and secure.

HTTPS is designed to solve two very important problems when trying to send data securely on the internet:

  1. Encrypting the data in a way that the servers operating the website can decrypt, but no one else can.
  2. Validate that the server you’re sending data to is actually the server hosting a particular website.

The Internet relies on a series of networks that we may not know and trust, so having both of these protections is key.

Even if your site isn’t hosting sensitive information, like logins or bank accounts, users can see an increased level of privacy and safety with HTTPS. HTTPS is also practically free to implement in recent years, so there’s no real reason why any site shouldn’t be using it.

The Components of HTTPS

HTTPS relies on a series of keys (called private keys) and a public counterpart called certificates to validate the identity of websites. Your site is issued a certificate from a Certificate Authority, and this creates a chain of trust that allows users who have never been to your site to confirm it’s the right one.

Encryption is handled in much the same way, where keys are generated and exchanged by the client and server while initially connecting. This encapsulates data so only the client and server can see the actual data.

How Gateway Systems Can Help

HTTPS is an ever-changing field with best practices changing frequently and constant maintenance required to ensure that sites are up to date and using the most secure methods. Gateway Systems understands these best practices, why they’re needed, and how to implement them on your site to ensure the highest level of safety and security.