We live in a post-Snowden era. The revelations of the NSA operator show us how insecure and exposed are our communications online. All of our data and messages are recorded, scrutinized and archived out of control. Whatever you upload to the network or anyway you send a message, it’s like to be crying out loud in the middle of Times Square.
We can divide Internet users in three groups according his reaction to this fact:
- the first group don’t know a word about privacy and never care about it. This is the biggest group but some of them move quickly to other groups only when they realize their money has been robbed online, or they suddenly discover how many records about their intimacy are available online.
- the second group accepts the lack of privacy and has reduced their usage of Internet to irrelevant things where money or personal data are not involved. Unfortunately (for them), more and more social activities are conducted online: one day your electric company starts to send the invoices via email, another one your kid’s school sends reports online…
- the third group is actively involved in the fight for privacy and security online. They know some tools to increase their security and have installed some encription software; they knows what https means, and care for the websites they browse in. Some of them, have a personal secure certificate. Although they are just a small group, fortunately (for everyone) they are supported by big corporations. These companies are really interested in the increase of buyers confidence (and spending, obviously) and are making some changes, to increase the security of their websites and those of their partnes and competitors.
What does https actually mean?
It’s just the same than http (hiper text transfer protocol) with the addition of a “s”. As you know, the Inter Net was developed by the Army scientists to be a very reliable network in a war scenario: the messages try to go from sender to receiver through any available point of the network and if one node is destroyed, the “packet” just search another way to reach its destination. This means you message can travel through a lot of unknown servers and can be readed by everybody, unless you encript your message and only sender and receiver know the key. This secure protocol, the “https”, does exactly that: your message (or credit card data or pictures or anything) is encripted in your computer and only the receiver you have selected can decrypt its content.
Why it is growing?
For example, Facebook is only available online via https. Maybe you don’t know but most of the popular services in the network are moving to secure comunications. Try to log in your email provider, and look at the address bar of your browser.
And small companies are moving fast in that address. Thousands of websites are changing to secure protocols because somehow they know their customers are asking for more security.
Even more, last year the powerful Google made an statement about the effect of the https in its rankings, and that is almost an order for all webmasters around the world.