If you own a WordPress site, you must have mulled over this move at some point – HTTPS. HTTPS is a secure form of HTTP, the underlying protocol used on the Internet. With HTTP, all messages are exchanged in plain-text. So anyone wanting to snoop on your data can do so very easily. Having HTTPS enabled on your site would mean that any information flowing to and from your site is encrypted. A site that has HTTPS turned on will have a lock symbol on the address bar.
So what the real benefits of having HTTPS enabled on your site? Here are the important ones.
Until now, HTTPS was usually restricted to parts of a site that involved financial transactions like credit card payment. With the growing popularity of WordPress there has been a steep increase on the attacks. Attackers are always on the lookout for new ways to get hold of your login information. Plain-text HTTP makes it easy for your username and password to be snooped. Many free tools, like packet sniffers, are available that help you do this. Once your login is compromised, the attackers are free to misuse your site for any purpose. So protecting the login is foremost on every site owner’s agenda.
HTTPS brings the much needed boost to your site’s security when it comes to login protection. Once you enable HTTPS on your site, your login credentials are encrypted. Even if someone captures the login data, they will be unable to decipher anything from it.
Prevents Data Interception
In many cases, attackers are passive observers who simply want to capture data. However, there are times when the attackers may want to alter the data transmitted. For example, an attacker can easily modify the status code to error even if the connection went through successfully. The end users, being completely unaware of the attacker, will continuously try and establish a connection. This is a classic example of Denial of Service (DoS) attack. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the havoc that one can unleash by means of data interception.
HTTPS is a good measure to have in place against tampering of data. Using strong encryption ensures that attackers can’t modify your data in transit. Your data is completely safe and secure.
Improved SEO Rankings
Google made an announcement recently that it will use HTTPS as a ranking measure. So apart from improving your site’s security, HTTPS will also better your SEO rankings. For once, you can have the cake and eat it too!
In summary, HTTPS is definitely the right way forward for all our WordPress sites. Apart from protecting login, it also safeguards all data flowing to and from our sites. In today’s times, it is not only sufficient for a site to load really fast but also provide the best possible security for its visitors. If you haven’t enabled HTTPS on your site already, I urge you to do it at the earliest.